Billed as the LittleBigPlanet of dungeon crawlers, Fight the Dragon relies on user-created content to really give the game its legs. The good news: there are already thousands of custom levels ready to download, and the editor to make your own is very easy to use. The downside: there really isn't a lot you can do with it. At its heart, Fight the Dragon is a pretty simple dungeon crawler, and I'm yet to see a level that made me think, "Hey, that was clever!" But I suppose the dungeon crawler genre isn't necessarily bursting with creativity, anyway. It's all about finding loot and smashing your way through hordes of enemies. And there's plenty of both to enjoy here. The "dragon" part of the game's name comes from the mega boss who's always available to fight but who's easily one of the hardest, most unfair enemies you'll ever encounter in a video game. I'm not sure it's even possible to beat him. But how much damage you do to the dragon before dying is the game's fun, little take on leaderboards. So once you've leveled up and found better loot in the random dungeon levels, you can try your luck at the dragon again. Too bad you can't fight him in co-op. Now that would have been sweet... Nonetheless, with local and online co-op available, Fight the Dragon makes for a great, simplistic dungeon crawler.
I first thought you would be solving puzzles directly related to how the clones of your character followed you. But that's not how it works at all. The clones basically mean you get to use certain powers more than once. The most common power is being able to turn into a brick, which is useful as a stepping stone or a weight on a switch. Don't let that fool you into thinking the puzzles are a pushover, though. Things get pretty challenging early on. And it's in trying to reach the three collectibles per level where it becomes especially difficult. While you may think the collectibles are extraneous, one of them is actually an extra "me," and the other is currency used towards buying power-ups. So, yeah... you won't get far by trying to beeline it to the end of every level. Why hurry, anyway? This one's worth enjoying. So Many Me is a really fun and polished game. It's hard but not punishing. The presentation is cute. The music is neat. There are loads of levels to play through. It's pretty much everything you could want from an indie platformer.
Usually, Introversion games incorporates strategy with nice, fluid game play and attractive graphics, but it seems that DEFCON went the other way. The basic concept in DEFCON is to rack up points based off of how many people you can annihilate in a nuclear war. The player with the highest points wins the match. As interesting as it sounds, the game turned out to be extremely boring and a pain to play through one match. There was an option to speed up the game, but even that didn't have the capability of keeping me captivated. The graphical style wasn't pleasing; the sprites looked like they could be drawn in 2 minutes and the game was played on only one world map. During game play, you start at DEFCON 5, allowing you to only place down subtle defensive buildings. However, as the DEFCON level begins to decrease, the threat level starts to increase. In between stages, I found myself throwing a building or two down, maybe some ships or submarines and then playing the waiting game until the next stage. From there the process would repeat until I finally reached DEFCON 1. Now I am not trying to beat up on this game because it does have potential and is a good strategy game, incorporating lots of micromanaging. but it's just not captivating enough to play through more than once. I do not recommend this game.
A very intense game requiring patience and skill in order to accomplish the basic task of getting a kill. Since the game is in alpha, the graphics aren't half bad. I noticed bad textures when you really look into it, and some maps look better than others. But overall, the graphical quality was nice. The game is extremely difficult to play, and it can take some time to get used to the unforgivable environment. It even took me quite a bit of time to discover how to put on attachments, but I don't mind, just makes the game more enjoyable. The game modes and maps are very fun, although there aren't many currently. The most enjoyable game mode was conquest, which is capturing and holding 3 flags in order to win. I did however feel as though I was playing the same map, with the same gun, and somewhat different attachments. So once you do get comfortable, the game will begin to feel a little repetitive as you accumulate where the "sweet spots" are. But overall the game is very good, so far. Having the capability of throwing players into an unforgiving map really slams in the fear factor when you're the last guy on your team. However, I do not think it is as polished as other tactical shooters (map balance, weapon balance, etc.) although the new edition of the Molotov is a great step in the right direction.
What just seems like a normal first person shooter, Blacklight: Retribution sets itself apart with the wonderful addition of the HRV (Hyper Reality Visor) and almost infinite customization options. But is it a Pay to Win game, forcing you to pay lots of money in order to have your name at the top of the scoreboard? Thankfully, I'd say no, but it is quite the grind to permanently purchase weapons. The graphics in Blacklight are extremely impressive and can fit very well in AAA shooters such as the Call of Duty franchise. The guns look and fire amazingly, for they each have their own set of unique characteristics. There are a plethora of customization options for your character and weapon, along with the ever changing stats that tell you everything down to a point. The HRV allows you to see throughout the map for a limited amount of time with the enemies highlighted in red. Crazy as it sounds, it brings more teamwork, strategy, and balance to the battlefield. Every kill you earn allows you to earn GP, which you can spend at a mobile depot for temporary weapons and upgrades. This allows noob pilots to get in heavy mechs and mow down others. However, they are slow and have multiple weak points that can be viewed using the HRV. Overall, Blacklight: Retribution is as good as AAA shooters, and the fact that it is free to play makes it hard to bargain with.
A beautiful game that is easy to learn, but hard to master. EVE Online is an amazing addition to the sci-fi genre of games that began to lack in taste. Graphically, the game looks amazing. From the nebula in the back ground, to the space ship design, it all looks authentic and appealing to the eye. Over the last decade, many updates have came along and this is the best it has ever been. The HUD and visual interface are easy to operate and navigate, making battles in the game fun to play but also requiring skill at the same time. Being a player driven game, there is a TON of things that you can do; miner, pirate, trader, corporate leader, capital war leader. You can do it all. There is never a limit either, you could be 2 classes, or 3, you just need the proper training required. There are 4 main races in EVE. The Gallente drone boats, the Caldari missile wielders, the Minmatar speeders, and the Amarr laser favors. Each race has different ups and downs that make them succeed and fail in different ways, which balances the game immensely. There is also an in-game way to pay for your subscription called PLEX, which allows you to continue your subscription using the in-game currency ISK. Overall, EVE Online is an amazing addition to the sci-fi genre and is worth checking out.
I used to love complexity in my games. These days, not so much. I grew up in an era when releases were sporadic and depth was embraced due to having much more free time and much less to do. In this post-internet era, there is an abundance of options and never enough time. Give me just enough depth to give a game a good challenge, but don't overburden my already burdened attention span. FTL hits that sweet spot. It's easy to learn, yet so hard to master. I've yet to beat it on Easy, and as someone who recently beat Dark Souls II, I feel no shame in admitting that. This roguelike finds you captaining a spaceship in search of the rebel flagship. A wide variety of tactics and equipment are at your disposal and it's hard not to feel a tad bit like Captain Kirk as you dish out the commands. Each permadeath will find you running right back to try a new setup or strategy. The UI puts everything you need on the screen and spares the player complex menu navigation. The throwback graphics and sound won't grab you, but the gameplay will.
I was wrong about Kentucky Route Zero. I didn't like the first two acts because they were slow, and I didn't understand my role in the game. I made the mistake of approaching the game as if I were controlling Conway. Once I realized that I was not any one particular character in the game, but rather an outside observer capable of nudging the story in different directions, I started enjoying the experience more. This is not your typical point-and-click adventure game. It is very much an interactive story. Your choices shape the surreal universe in subtle ways. Kentucky Route Zero is all about subtleties. I'll admit, much of the literary references and philosophical musings are lost on me, but I feel less annoyed about this now and more curious to play through the game again. Acts one and two were intriguing enough to keep me going, but I wasn't completely sold until act 3. Act 3 took the story telling to a new level. It is at times spooky and bizarre, and at others witty and fun. I'm hungry for more. Here's hoping it doesn't take another year for the next act to release.
Modern point-and-click adventure games could learn from Broken Sword. The pacing was magnificent, the characters were unique, and the voice acting was top notch. The mystery of the Templars was quite engaging, always leaving me hungry for the next clue. Puzzles were, for the most part, straightforward. There were only a few instances where I needed to tap into the built-in hint system to figure out what to do. The only obnoxious puzzle was the code deciphering mini game. Had I not cheated, it would have required an unreasonable amount of tedious guesswork. Aside from this, Broken Sword was not a very difficult adventure game. This kept the action rolling, so I didn't mind so much. Broken Sword has aged amazingly well. It's just as fun and beautiful as I remember it. The director's cut brings several additions to the game including new segments with Nico. While these aren't revolutionary changes to the game, they did help flesh out the experience. The new beginning, however, doesn't quite pack quite the same punch as the original exploding Cafe scene. Nonetheless, Broken Sword is a worthy addition to any adventure game collection.
I originally wrote a Cold review for this game but pulled it. It wasn't fair because it centered around the flawed and dysfunctional multiplayer component. PvP is a disaster with few invasions and a new soul memory system which makes both Co-op and PvP a chore. The game doesn't pair you based on levels, it pairs you based on souls acquired which will vary wildly and unfairly punish those who waste souls. The lag stab is as bad as ever and it amazes me that in 3 years the devs couldn't deliver simple 1v1 lag-free PvP when so many devs out there do it for 10 player MOBAs. The rest of the story is that this is an incredibly deep and massive world that is fascinating to explore and gorgeous to look at. I truly enjoyed the massive challenge of seeing this game to its conclusion even more than the original. Removing the infinite respawn of mobs is a big improvement which prevents out leveling the content and decreasing tedium. The boss fights are once again epic in scale and challenge. I'm giving this the Hot stamp, but not only for the single player element. Don't waste your money if your want this for multiplayer.
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