Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One Finger Death Punch Impressions

One Finger Death Punch is a game about timing. Instead of game giving you millions of buttons to memorize all the actions during combat boil down to hitting the "X" or "B" button. All the coolest moves you could ever imagine a stick figure doing are all done by pressing just one button. Though this doesn't make the game easy as you'll have to fight your way through massive waves of enemies. This game isn't for your friend who constantly button mashes at fighting games.

Lets get the worst part of the game out of the way, which is everything that isn't game play looks bad. The art style from the menus looks nothing like the art from the game whatsoever. It's like night and day between both parts. For instance the opening screen has a realistic art style for the characters making it seem like you'll be a bad ass not a stick figure. The worst menu probably has to be the level select screen has a floating realistic head as your icon rather than using the game play art. Mainly the whole game just should have been done with stick figure art and it still would have been awesome.

Even though it felt weird seeing all those horrible menus it didn't ruin the game. Where the game truly shines is game play. As I was saying before the controls are as simple as pressing "X" or "B". Enemies come at you from two directions so by pressing X you attack to the left and by press B you attack to the right. Though you only attack once that come within range of your melee attacks. You can increase your range by picking up weapons like swords, spears, daggers, and bows, but they all have limited use. The trick is to keep your chain of attacks going by not getting hit or missing a blow. At the end of each level you are rated on how well you do.

With over 250 levels their is more to do than just fight massive waves of enemies. Some levels force you to use one weapon type, fight a boss, or even destroy a certain number of objects in the level. My favorite level type so far is just regular mob. This is where they just send waves of enemies at you and you test your skills. It's also where you get to see gruesome slow mo attacks and cool martial arts!

Their are also plenty of skills to unlock as well in the game. You can choose from up to three skills to use at a time. For instance I use a skill that increases the amount of arrows I get when I pick up a bow. This skill allows me to kill enemies in one hit and from a great distance. You unlock skills by beating certain levels on the map. Though it will take you awhile to unlock them all their are 250 levels in all to beat.

No matter how bad it's menus look this game is addictive. It's way to much stupid fun! Imagine playing the cinematic scene of a big AAA game but with even more action and precise button skills. The games makes killing stick figures simple and satisfying! Personally I suggest picking up the game on Indie Game Stand a great website for indie games and you also get a Steam key as well!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Black Ice Impressions

Black Ice is a first person shooter set in a world that feels like Tron. You are hacker that must hack your way through other corporations servers. What's great about this game is you choose the way you progress by selecting each server to attack. Though each server puts up a challenge by sending waves of enemies at you. Also with online multiplayer a game like this can be enjoyed with friends as you take on the challenge of becoming the strongest hacker.

You become a stronger hacker by killing enemies from each server. Once you level up you can upgrade your skills like damage, health, and hacking speed. What's interesting is that the game has other skills you can upgrade like your chances to find better loot, and also increase your chances to do a critical hit. The tougher the enemies are the more experience you get.

Each server you hack you get loot. The loot you can use are lasbreaks, icebreakers, weapons, and  summoning monsters. What's interesting are the slots. There are no specific slots for your items, but  you have a limited number to work with. You can customize it so much that you can even remove the run and jump skills. This can allow you to summon even more monsters or have even greater hacking skills.

The other great point about this game is something that you'll learn to watch called RAM. RAM is used for attacks, summoning monsters, and lasbreakers. Having more RAM allows you to attack more often and summon more monsters. Though once you run out of RAM during a battle you can no longer attack till you regenerate more of it. You can do that by equipping lasbreakers, or icebreakers with increased RAM regeneration. You can also upgrade it each time you level up.

Online play is good. It didn't crash on me once during my time playing. Also the game runs smoothly with very few moments of lag that ruined the game. There's even a PVP mode that allows you to play against your friends, but I found the game to be more fun played as a co-op experience.

One problem with the game is that their is really no overall goal of the game yet other than to level up. Even if they threw generic missions like going after the largest server in the room I would have enjoyed that a bit more than wondering around aimlessly. I found myself wondering around for a minute or two once I got to higher levels trying to find servers that were not to hard but yet not to easy. Again this stuff doesn't really make the game bad, but it's something the developer can look into before the game is completely finished.

Verdict is that this is a game you should be playing. I found myself playing for hours on end. I just kept wanting to level up, and seeing what amazing pieces of loot I could find! If you don't own it I suggest buying 4-pack on Steam and gifting the rest to your friends. There's nothing more enjoyable than a game with so much freedom to customize, and provides an amazing loot system as well.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Gang Beasts Impressions

Gang Beasts is something truly special.  It can fit safely in a group of games that are local multiplayer perfection.  Even if it had online play, it wouldn't work as well.  It's really about stupid fun-- Murderous stupid fun in which you scream obscenities at your friends as they throw your limp body over the edge into a fire pit... but wait!  You grab on to them and yell, "You're coming with me, fucker!"  

This is a physics based pugilist type of affair.  Currently, there are a few levels in which to brawl.  They are all fairly interesting and have dangers abound.  The controls are simple, but hard to master.  You can jump, kick, punch, grab, lift, and play dead.  There is even a way to climb if you can figure it out. 

I was recently paid a visit by a few friends in which we broke out this bad ass game and had a drunken good time.  This game isn't finished, but it's still a wonderfully good time with a few drunk friends. 

I will certainly keep this one in my back pocket for whenever I have a few friends over.  It currently goes up to 8 player!  That, my friends, would be insane.  The game is currently available on Steam Early Access

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Road Redemption Impressions

Do you remember the good old days of gaming? Road Redemption is a game that brings us back to  the classic game play of Road Rage but in full 3D. It's more than just a copy of Road Rage but a re-imagination with experience to gain and money to spend. Get ready for a game filled with so much action that you will be on the edge of your seat.

Let's start off with bad things in the game. It's early access so a lot of these issues will be finished once the game is fully released. When they're lot of things going on at once the game can freeze for a second or two. This can be annoying when you finally get the hang of things. I ran into this issue mainly when the level with falling cars. The draw rate can be an issue where the road is literally coming into focus as you are driving. This doesn't affect game play to much, but it's just not a pretty sight to see. Finally their is an awkward load time between when a challenge ends and the menu for buying items comes up. At first you think the game has frozen up, but it's just a weird place for the game to be loading without any notification.

Now here's all the good things with this Road Redemption. It controls beautifully. I plugged in a controller which makes playing this game fun! You play it just like any other racing game, but you use the face buttons to attack your opponents. Switching out weapons is just as simple as using the d-pad. The right analog stick controls the camera which is key to use when you use any gun.

Road Redemption creates randomly generated levels each time you play it. Each level is different than the last. You could be racing in one level, defeating rival gangs, or destroying the cops in another. Each level also gets harder as you progress, so it challenges your skills. At the end of each level you earn cash and experience. Cash is used between games, and anything you buy doesn't transfer over once it's game over. Experience is used to acquire skills that you carry over even if you die. Skills range from more ammunition, increased melee damage, better starting weapons, and even starting at level three. To beat the campaign you must reach to final level without losing all your lives. Easier said then done.

What's a good game without decent racing and combat. Racing is as simple as holding down the right trigger to accelerate, and left trigger allows you to make tight turns. Racing isn't that simple when you have other people on motorcycles trying to beat the crap out of you. Using a melee weapon allows you to block oncoming attacks. If you deflect an attack you get a critical hit turning your driver red which allows you to deal massive damage. Each melee weapon has a certain amount of length, damage, and durability. When it comes to guns they just simply use bullets but makes driving even harder. Even though driving might be harder guns can deal massive amounts of damage. My favorite weapon is C4 which you attach directly to your enemies. This creates some fun moments of watching massive explosions as you speed by.

Road Redmeption generates some pretty crazy levels. My favorite level so far is when cars drop from the sky. At this point it tests your skills of driving, avoiding massive cars, and killing your enemies. It's even harder when the goal of the level ends up being a race, and I just cross my fingers that I don't die.

Even with all it's bugs Road Redemption is one of the most exciting games I've played in awhile. You are always on the edge of your seat bashing your enemies to death while trying to also win a race. It's intense and it's something that's totally worth your money. You can purchase the game on Steam right now.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Final Rush Impressions

Final Rush is a first person shooter set in the year 2017. You're a trained military officer sent to fight off massive waves of robots. How many waves you ask? Fifteen waves in all and each more difficult then the last! You can team up with up to three friends to play online and test your skills against the hordes of robots.

The game plays similarly to killing floor. You start off by picking a weapon like an assault rifle, sniper rifle, or a shotgun. Each round throws a certain number of robots at you and if you kill them all you advance to the next round. Each time you kill a robot you use the points earned to purchase more weapons, ammo, and health. The game is unforgiving so you'll have to use your credits wisely in order to survive every last wave.

You can earn an even higher score by killing enemies in different ways. Kill multiple enemies and earn even more credits. Get a head shot earn even more! The higher your score gets the game rewards you with extra ammo, lives, and health. It challenges you to kill the robots in interesting ways like waiting for them to walk by an explosive barrel then shooting it to watch their metallic bodies explode!

The variety in enemy types are nice. When you start off you fight off the basic walking robot who just swings his arms at you. Then the game starts adding robots with guns which can pose a serious challenge. The best part is they come from all directions so you can't just merely duck in a corner and shoot since the robots can come out from any door. The best approach is to run, and take your time with a decent shot.

One issue with the game was the AI for the robots. For the most part they were pretty intelligent attacking you from all directions except for one key moment.  When a mass amount of robots try to fit in a doorway they all get stuck allowing you to shoot them without being attacked. Another time the robots also got stuck on the geometry of the map leaving them wide open to be attacked.

Another issue is the length of a match. In a thirty minute time frame I didn't get through I couldn't get through all Fifteen rounds or died way before then. The game makes up for this by having a level system when you take your overall score earned in game and use them for passive upgrades. This is helpful because when you start out the game you almost feel like a sitting duck. You can upgrade yourself over three tiers from snipers, shotguns, and assault rifles. Still I wish there was a way to lower the waves to ten instead of fifteen.

Final Rush is is still in development, but here's one thing I think they could add to make the game better. Unlike Killing Floor Final Rush enemies don't react to the bullet damage. It can be frustrating to shoot enemies perfectly without any knowledge of how well you are doing. I wish there was an animation like sparks flying to show that you successfully hit a robot.

Besides all the issues Final Rush is actually a decent game to play. There adding more content as the months pass along, so it's worth the money to pick up. If you are a fan of Killing Floor or co-op first person shooters then you should purchase this game. You can buy the game right now on Steam. 


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Massive Chalice Impressions

Massive Chalice is a strategy game like no other. You play as an immortal ruler who carries on a 300 year war against an enemy called the Cadence. Since the game takes place over 300 years it's your job to create more hero's by creating royal bloodlines to carry on your kingdom. These bloodlines create adorable babies which will grow up to become hero's and continue the fight against the Cadence.

The strategy part of the game is a blast. It plays just like Xcom, so you take turns attacking then defending. During each battle your hero's can level up by defeating enemies. You could save your hero for battle, or have that hero retire to royalty. You create more heroes by pairing a single hero with another hero of the opposite sex. Depending on the characters age and level they can have higher or lower rates of fertility. Though picking better matches could mean taking your best hero off the battle field, but in return getting lots of heirs to your kingdom. Without babies your kingdom will die off and you won't have any hero's to fight off the Cadence. When hero's pass away they are gone for good so it's important to manage your kingdom well, and make plenty of babies.

Now Massive Chalice is a long term strategy game. It's not about winning each individual battle, but looking at the bigger picture of making sure your kingdom survives. It's not just about turning your kingdom into a baby factory but also about researching new skills, abilities, and building new structures. For instance some buildings are used for training children into becoming heroes. Kids don't become hero's till the age of 15 so the crucible is used for increasing there levels before they enter battle. Instead of having a level 1 hero each time they turn 15 you could send high level heroes to the crucible to train children to become a hero at level starting at level 2. Though again by putting a high level warrior into the crucible you lose a good warrior on the battlefield.

What's interesting is how time speeds up and slows down in the game. The game takes place over 300 years of battle with the Cadence, so time slows down when battles take place. At the top right of the screen there is a play button where you can start speeding up time, or pause it whenever you wish. Time stops as well when research is completed on buildings, skills, and items. Also the game has a few random encounters where you're presented with multiple choices to pick from. The decisions you make can either lead to new research, new skills, and maybe even a new hero. Make the wrong decision and you could lose a hero, land, or even have a cursed hero.

Honestly I am not a big fan of strategy games. Usually there a genre I pass over but Massive Chalice even in beta is well worth the money. It's a game thats not just about how well you fight with your heroes, but how well you can manage a kingdom in the long run. I couldn't stop playing this game and kept coming back for hours on end. It's a game with as much polish as Xcom, but with the awesome mechanic of making babies. Who doesn't want more of that in video games? You can purchase Massive Chalice on Steam right now. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Free Patron Game of December: Letters From Secret Santa

For anyone who hasn't become a patron yet where have you been for the past month? So far we are up to $42 a month which is pretty awesome. 10% of those funds will be donated to Able Gamers Foundation and the other 20% will be given to High Class Kitsch creators of Pandora: Purge of Pride. Again this Patreon campaign we are running is to help us raise awareness for our webiste and for us to be able to afford our next major event.

This month Letters From Secret Santa is an exclusive to all our patrons for the month of December. Taro Omiya of Omiya Games works for himself at a small indie collective Tech Valley Game Space. Instead of renting out a full office Taro rents out a space that he shares with nine fellow developers who are also working on projects.You can check out all of Taro's work on his website and also support his Patreon as well.

We gave Taro the theme of the "The Holidays" and created a small game jam just for him! Taro came back with a game he created in seven days called Letters From Secret Santa. It's a charming platformer where you play as a child jumping on the words from letters written to Secret Santa. The neat thing is that each level is a different date from when the letters were sent. You learn more about the child's likes and dislikes throughout each puzzle you solve. Again if you wish to download this game you must become a patron.