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петък, 14 април 2017 г.

Pressure Overdrive - Step up a gear!




Count Soap is stealing all the water in the world in order to open his Uber-Spa, but nothing is lost yet as La Resistance is here to stop him! You are a member of La Resistance and alone or together with a friend you are about to blast some bad guys.

Only one thing, before going into the game - I was provided a key from the developer Chasing Carrots and the is expected to be out in Q2 this year. 

Or should I say this version of the game as Pressure Overdrive is actually remake of 2013's original title - Pressure which sadly did not take off well, but luckily Chasing Carrots took the criticism to hearth and went back to fix their game. And because this is how I roll I will be honest and here and now will say that I have not played Pressure, but I can tell you about this one.



Race, ram & blast! 


The title says it pretty clearly. This is what you gonna do when you are not in Le Bistro, tinkering your buggy. More details, you say, I am glad you asked! 
Pressure Overdrive is steam-punk arcade race shoot em up game where the goal is not to reach the finish, but to survive until you get there as the track is packed full of enemies of all kinds. Small tanks, punks on bikes, giant trucks spilling acid, motor boats and even bosses at the end of each world. The game reminds me of Tank Racer(and this is quite the inaccurate comparison I know...)  but a lot more dynamic and frantic with packs of enemies all around you, smashing fences, gun towers, flying above bottomless pits and crashing through explosive barrels. BANG!BOOM!KABAW!  



The game is action in its purest form and it involves a good amount of skill too as you will have to drive, shoot accurately and dodge bullets all at the same time. 
But come on, who cannot do that pf! To make things harder and more thematic, you have two resources(so to say) - pressure and health. The second is obvious, if it reaches zero you are busted and you should restart the race. Pressure is necessary to shoot your guns. The longer you shoot the more pressure you spend. Lower the pressure slower you move and shoot. You can stop shooting or moving at all to recover, but you are not a coward, right? Then you need to be accurate as each destroyed enemy gives you pressure( There is also very annoying type of enemy which steals your pressure...). If you do not manage to finish you can restart or you can call a buddy for filled with action and fun coach co-op action. If you finish the race you move on to the next, but before that...





Welcome to Le Bistro 


Le Bistro is your garage where you can make your buggy a real mean machine with spikes at the sides and swirling blades at the front, all this finished with a shotgun to rain fire on those who does not dare to get close to you. Or you can put a big mortar and just blast everyone away from afar. There is good amount of upgrades and styles of play depending on what you put on your machine, so you will never be bored with your car while you make it into real weapon for mass destruction.  






Conclusion 


Pressure Overdrive is great combination of race and arcade shoot em up game. It is frantic, colorful, full of action, fun, full of different, wacky, but nasty enemies. It has 3 worlds with more than 30 levels for you and a trusty friend, to test your skills in a bullet filled race or hair standing bossfight. And when you beat those there is the endless mode, only for the best of the best.
It is a kind of game which I have not seen for long time and while is not exactly my cup of tea, I had great fun with it and hard time putting it down. It is clear that Chasing Carrot has put some serious work in it and I hope it will be the success it deserves to be. The game is expected to come out in Q2 this year for PC, PS4, Linux and Apple OS. 



Where to find:



събота, 8 април 2017 г.

Quick Opinion: Pixel Privateers, Night in the Woods



This is one of a kind Quick Opinion! There has never been another like it! It's about only two games... I was planning of making two separate posts about Pixel Privateers and Night in the Woods, but when I started writing them I realized the games are two simple or short for the format so I bundled them into a Quick Opinion. Here they are!





Pixel Privateers


I would have never heard of this if I was not following closely Re-Logic, the creators of Terraria. The game is not theirs, but they are publishing it and that is what grabbed my interest. Made by Quadro Delta(Yes, the guys behind Pixel Piracy) Pixel Privateers is squad based tactical RPG where you will explore the galaxy following mysterious quest to recover alien technology. 
In its core the game is really simple. You choose your team, pick a planet and beam your guys down to kill things and loot dead bodies until they complete the objective for the mission, then you bring them back and put on them new shiny items and then repeat. Surprisingly the action part while always the same is fun, flashy and entertaining. There is great amount of different weapons, including swords, several classes and what surprised quite good amount of different enemies. 
After each planet you will also get a lot of items with which to fiddle trying to make your characters the best you can. Also you can hardly hit a too hard planet or too easy without wanting to as you can change difficulty for each planet before you raid it.
 The biggest problem I saw with the game is that you will get so much loot that the amount of inventory management you will have to do is overwhelming and honestly annoying. This aside Pixel Privateers is great light, pretty much mindless fun where you kill things and they explode like pinatas dropping items everywhere. If this sounds like your thing find the game on the links below. 


Where to find:




Night in the Woods

"I stayed here and got older. You went to college and stayed the same."
 Bea


This line sums up what Night in the woods is and if you have played it you will agree I am sure. If you have not, read on.
You play as Mae, she has dropped out of college and now is back to her small town where everything is the same at first glance, but actually so much has changed. Night in the Woods explore the problems of growing up, failing, parents expectations, clash of past and present and many more, it is a game which will have biggest impact on players which are around Mae's age and they themselves are having the same or similar problems. Other audience to which I recommend the game are people who have gone through this in the past. Another side of the game is the mystery and Mae's weird dreams, but most value from the game you will get if you play it because of the things I mentioned above as this is the main purpose of the game in my opinion. To touch these sensitive topics which few if any games does. 
Some more game-y things about Night in the Woods. The whole game is moved in the same way games like Oxenfree are. You go around, talk to people, interact with objects and see what happens. The game has interesting geometrical art style, simple controls and it is around eight hours with two main different endings which can be slightly altered depending on your actions. 
As you can see Night in the Woods is hard to review material, as if I go in details I will spoils many things and this game is mostly about the experience it gives. And the best experience is when you do not know what is coming. I recommend this game even if only for the example how to make such games.  


Where to find:


неделя, 19 март 2017 г.

Torment: Tides of Numenera - A World to behold




You are falling from the sky...You do not know who you are, where are you or why you are falling. Faint memories flutter through your mind.

This is how Torments starts and if you are wondering, yes you can die in the first forty or so seconds of the game. Or you can live and unveil the unbelievable world of Torment.

Few things I want to say before continuing with the game. This is more of a first impressions than a review as I have not finished the game, but I have played around twelve or so hours. Second I will try to go without any major spoilers, but if you want to experience the whole game without any knowledge better not read this. Here it comes!



Who am I?



You just fell from the sky. You have no idea who you are, where are you or what happened. When I played for the first two hours I felt so confused I barely knew what to do. The game overwhelmed me. And this is how it should be, this confusion you feel together with your character is obviously intended and greatly woven in the story. When you learn more about the world you will be faced with the choice to be who you want to be or try and pretend to be the one who everyone think you are, which is decisive choice and the world will react to it. While we are on the topic of the main character something which appears to confuse people is the character creation. While making your character you will make few choices which are vague and is not clear to what exactly they lead. Some people tend to not find such way of building character fun and to them I can say only...you can choose whatever you want at the end of the "Memories segment" (where you initially build your character) so do not fret. 



World and Exploration



 Sadly, the part of Torment's world you will see is not much. Actually it is just one city(well and the endless plains of your mind, but I will let you find this on your own). But if you want to learn more about the world, yourself and what has happened you can talk with the people of the city. No I will actually go further and say that you must talk to the people of the city. The least you will get from the conversations are items, skills and side quests, but what is more important you will get knowledge for the world, for yourself and for the man you are looking for. Each dialogue choice you make shifts the Tides which are the game mechanic determining how people react to your words and to you in general.  Speaking about this, probably here is the place to say that Torment is precisely targeted game. The developers had clear idea what audience they target and because of this it is a special piece of a game. You need to be one of these gamers who are genuinely interested in the world of the games they play. If you are not you will not only miss a lot of the game but it will probably be a bit of a boring slow experience. The driving force of the game(at least for me) is the will to know more.




And while we are on the topic of talking to people and before we continue to the world I want to mention something which annoyed me a little - people are too talkative. You will rarely be denied the opportunity to talk to someone about pretty much everything. This breaks more than few characters. True, later in the game you might be able to talk about more things with certain NPCs than when you met them for the first time, but this does not really neglects the will of everyone to talk with you about everything. BUT this also does not mean you should not choose your words wisely, as I said you will talk a lot and this is what will progress you in the game. One wrong word may cost a lot. One seemingly wrong word can bring you more fortune than you imagine.




Returning on the topic about knowledge and the world - it is a world worth knowing more about, but it is not only words. You are part of this world and while you are limited in only one city mainly it is a huge city. See it, explore it, watch it. Torment looks old, but the level of details is amazing, everything around you moves, shines, works. The city pulses with life. Dive in and be part of it.



How the world works


Knowing all this, let me tell you about some actual game mechanics. Torment is squad based RPG with (small in number) turn-based battles. Each dire situation being battle or not is called a crisis and each crisis can always be resolved without killing everyone or even without fighting at all. But if things go bad during battle your characters will have two types of actions - attack action and movement action. Each of these can be spend for what it is or it can be used to activate skills. Often in battle( and almost always out of one) you will need to invest your stats in different skill checks. Each point invested this way is lost effectively reducing the stat, until the character does not rest. This system brings very interesting resource management aspect into the game, because you do not know what you will need and when also you are not able to rest just anywhere, no you can rest only on specific places and while resting some quests may progress, situations may change. 





Conclusion


Torment: Tides of Numenera is squad based RPG with turn based battles, but you will almost never be pressured to fight as there are numerous ways to resolve a crisis. Torment is a game focused on talking and learning about the world in which you have fallen(you literally fall from the sky). It is a game targeted at people who like long dialogues, hard choices, intriguing world and exploration. Oh and have a lot of free time. Torment: Tides of Numenera as most games of the genre is between 25 and 30+ hours of gameplay. But every hour invested is worth it, even if you do not finish it play it if not for another thing then for the rich palette of characters you will meet. Torment is like a how-to to anyone who is in the business of creating characters.

Where to find: 

четвъртък, 2 март 2017 г.

Preview: Tumbling Apart - It has huge potential



Disclaimer: I was contacted by the developer Goodnamehere_ to cover their title Tumbling Apart which is fighting for Greenlight right now. This may or may not have affected my opinion.



I always have adored games centered around their story. And no good story is empty of feelings.

Remember this...

You are playing Isaac who is riddled with guilt over the awful fate of his sister. In his sadness, guilt and anger he swears that he is ready to everything just to redeem himself and to save his sister. And as it happens often when strong feelings are involved mystical power grants Isaac's wish and he is given the power to re-experience his life and former tribulations.
 With this the game has the intention to touch on unusual subject as abusive relationships, alcoholism, drug use and abandonment. The developer compare it to titles like To The Moon and Life is Strange.



 The idea of Tumbling Apart is to suck you in relying more on your feelings and mystery, on the experience it will provide to the player than to any flashy graphics or complicated mechanics. It is set to show that good games can be made "without the need for flashy modern gaming systems" and stories can be told "through solid, simple gameplay, narration, dialogue and setting.". 

When the game is finished it will offer meaningful choices and challenging puzzles.  



This is what Goodnamehere_ promises the game to be. As I mentioned it is fighting for Greenlight right now and it has playable demo which you can try. The demo is also what I played and let me tell you my impressions from it.




From the very start the game is indeed touching heavily on sensitive topics like alcoholism and life hardship, not to mention with how much feelings it is filled. Also Tumbling Apart is probably one of the best looking(in every aspect) RPG-maker game I have seen with it's extra custom animations, backgrounds, intriguing story and effects. Those looks together with the great soundtrack definitely put you in the right mood to play heavy relying on experience game like this. Sadly the available demo does not offer any of the cool sounding aspects of the game, so I cannot really comment on them. The idea of the game is great, it would have been awesome to have my hands on version including some puzzles and future defining decisions. That said the short demo gives you enough for you to be able to decide is it a game for you or not. I am genuinely interested in the title despite the fact that I usually avoid RPG Maker games. Try it and if it is for you, you(like me) will feel strong need for more at the end of the demo.


Where to find:

Greenlight page
Official site
Download demo

вторник, 21 февруари 2017 г.

Quick Opinion: Enyo, Super Dungeon Tactics, Shadowverse



This should have been called the Mobile Opinion, but Super Dungeon Tactics is not a mobile game for some reason so its just an ordinary Quick Opinion. Here we go!



Enyo


I stumbled upon Enyo by accident while looking for something new to kill time with while in the subway. I was eyeing Enyo for some time now but was hesitant for some reason. This time though I downloaded it and thanks god for that, because this game is probably one of the best on mobile right now. 
Enyo is by the guys behind Card Crawl - Tinytouchtales and they have bet on dungeon crawl again, but with roguelike elements and turn based actions
What makes Enyo different from most roguelikes you will see is the way you battle your foes. With Tyr from NerdsBaloney we had a discussion once that roguelikes are a lot like puzzles and Enyo is even more like a puzzle than your normal roguelike. Here you have four actions from which you can perform one per turn and then your enemies act. What is most interesting is that you have no mean to deal direct damage to your enemies. You will have to either push/hook them into the lava or into spiked walls. 
But be careful as your enemies are not puny nor stupid. Among them you will see archers, bomb hurling devils, charging Minotaurs and even foes which can hook you into the lava! The game is floor based and deeper you get the better, but enemies also become stronger. When you die, you start from the beginning. 
What I dislike about the game is that it has the same problem as Card Crawl - parts of the game are locked behind paywalls and you can play only "basic variant" of the game if you do not want to pay. Still the game has a lot to offer for free and if you like it you can always pay for the full game. 



Shadowverse


CCGs are in huge rise in recent years and for now it does not look like they are going to stop. True, not all are good, probably not even half of them, but when something good comes out it is quickly slapped on the board and thoroughly dissected by the community. If it is good enough it is loved if not...quickly forgotten.
Shadowverse lucky for its creators falls in the first category - loved and is now happily enjoying its success. What makes it different from the countless Hearthstone/MTG clones? Anime boobs. No, I am kidding, I mean there are a lot of anime boobs in the game, but it is actually worth it to play it because of its gameplay and not the boobs.
I will cut the usual stuff as all are contained in Shadowverse - boosters, ladder, PvE campaigns(with all classes, great to grasp the basics) - and will go directly to the main thing which sets Shadowverse apart from its competition. Your cards can evolve. When a card evolves it gains stats, abilities and the chance to trade blows with enemy creature. Each player can evolve certain amount of times depending on being first or second. I am sure the more experienced CCG players among you can already imagine the changes in tempo and strategies card evolution brings. On top of that each hero in the game has its own ability which usually has high synergy with his/her class cards, giving even more depth to the game.
If you are tired of Hearthstone but are looking for something similar(Duelyst and Gwent feel too different to you) I suggest you to try Shadowverse. It is good and not even nearly as RNG as Hearthstone.







Super Dungeon Tactics


As I mentioned at the beginning this game would be nice on mobile in my opinion, but here it is, on PC. Not that it is a bad thing. Anyway, on to the game itself!
With Super Dungeon Tactics I went through whole change of hearth as at the beginning when I started playing I disliked it a lot. And I am still not sure why I continued playing it, but I did and it actually turned out to be decent. Allow me tell you more.
Do you like mages, dwarves, barbarians, paladins, rogues and any other stereotype of RPG hero you can think of? Well I hope you do if you are going to play this game, because they are all in there, running adventurer's guild and fighting the darkness in the land of Crystalia. How? Well as the word tactics suggests the fights are indeed turn based and honestly are the best part of the game as everything else is a bit...of a let down. Other than fighting there is a little bit of a story but is nothing special and there is the character management which consists of equipping your characters with the best they can wear. There are two interesting things in Super Dungeon Tactics and they are intertwined together.
The first thing are the battles purely as such. They are interesting, challenging, you feel like accomplishing something when you win. Now they are not too hard, but hard enough to make you think when you are playing. The second part is the small luck element thrown in the game - dice. At start of each round dice are thrown each having the chance to give some boost to your characters, including damage, defense, speed or even the ability to trigger your special skills. Items you equip on your characters manipulate the sides of the dice. What I like the most about these dice is that their results are helpful, but is a lot more important how you will lead your characters than the dice results. These two things together with the instant movement of your characters on the battlefield make the third thing which I like about Super Dungeon Tactics - it feels like a board game.  
Is it worth it? For the hardcore turn-base strategy fans it will feel blank and dull as it does not offer anything between the battles. But...BUT...it is great for a quick fix of some tactical action all of us feel need of sometimes or for people which are just starting with the genre and do not want to jump in the deep from the get go.




Official site
Steam

петък, 10 февруари 2017 г.

Pit People - Early impressions - Simply masterful


FIRST! Pit People is in Early Access on Steam. It is not out yet! This is my first impressions from what the Early Access offers. 


I had really hard time starting this impressions article as I really did not know from where to start with Pit People. So I decided to take a very classic approach. Here I go.

Pit People is fast paced RPG adventure game with turn-based battles. Made by The Behemoth the game is still in early access. 
Pit People is a silly game and this is obvious from the start. From the Main Menu to the story, to the art, to the units and items in the game, everything is ridiculous. But each thing is absurd in such a way that when you gather all of them they actually fit together. For example the speech of the characters - they do not say one word which makes sense, but this actually fits with the setting and if they had proper voice over it would have been worse(they do have speech bubbles, do not worry). It may seem random and silly, but Behemoth had very clear idea what they wanted to create. How they fared? Well, read on...





Giant bears, space and blueberries



How many companies can connect the three things above in a single game? I do not know, but Behemoth managed. These three things are the start of the story in the game. A giant space bear attacked the world where the peaceful man named Horatio lived by producing blueberries. Seeming too boring to the bear it ruined his live...Now wanting a revenge Horatio travels the world. Sadly there is only one story quest in the EA version, so I could not really tell how the story goes but from what I saw it looks interesting. Sadly it is the main thing which can make you go through the game and the moment I finished the story quest I quickly felt bored and with nothing to do. Now do not get me wrong there is a lot to explore, side quests and even quest which you can find only on the map. Not to mention the many characters which you can get for your party, but this lead us to...




Parties, monsters and brawls



Brawls does not mean anything just that the battles in Pit People always felt more like brawls to me. Here you should understand one thing - Pit People is a simple game, in every aspect. But because of this it can be really hard sometimes. I know of at least one fight which is really hard and you should be really careful or with a friend to win it. But how parties are formed and how fights happen? As I said - simple. The game will give you five characters to start with and you will have to capture any additional if you want(you will have to). Capturing characters is the main way to increase your hero rooster. To capture someone you have to meet him in battle, leave him be the last alive enemy and snare him in a net. Simple right? You can have six characters in your party, but some will take two spaces and of some you will need two to fill one slot. Those always come in pairs so do not worry, but they are usually weak. 
In the early access there are probably around twenty different characters to recruit, but something which I liked more is that there are no class restrictions. Everyone can be anything if you equip them with the right weapons. Simple. 
I talked a lot about battles and characters, but how battles happen? As I mentioned they are turned based. On your turn you point your character where you want them and then they go, but you cannot tell them who to attack. They will jump at anyone near them, choosing their target at random(among the enemies) so if you want them to attack a specific target you will have to position them in such a way that only the intended target is in their range. Simple but will make you think and plan quite a lot.


Conclusion


Pit People is weird silly game, by the giant Behemoth(you see what I did there?). At first the game may look a bit random and strange but you will realize that all those silly stuff click together really well. In other words the developers had not just poured random ideas in the game, they had clear idea what they wanted to make. 
In it's core Pit People is fast paced RPG adventure game with turn-based battles where you will have to help the poor blueberry farmer Horatio to succeed in his revenge against the horrible space bear. 
The game is still in early access, but its already quite polished and have its core mechanics in place. For now it lacks content and the story quest line will probably be the main thing(aside from the co-op and the 2v2 arena modes) which will make you play the game, but Behemoth have gotten the formula and now they only need to develop its full potential.
The game is not for everyone and its probably even target at very specific audience, but if you like your games a bit silly I recommend you to try Pit People when it is out.

Where to find:




понеделник, 23 януари 2017 г.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun - Ninjas are like commandos after all




Long ago when I was a small kid and was wasting most of my money in the local PC club I remember seeing some of the older guys playing interesting game where a group of commandos was lurking through a city trying to do something. I did not understood the game back then, but later a stumbled upon it again and learned its name, purpose and how good it is. I am of course talking about the Commandos series by Pyro Studios.

But why I am mentioning these old games? Because last year came out a game which can be easily called their successor - Shadow Tactics. The game grabbed my attention with two things. First it is a new title in an almost forgotten genre and second it is published by a favorite studio of mine which is known for a totally different genre - Daedalic Entertainment(the game is developed by Mimimi Productions).

But let us go in order. Commandos was not extremely popular even back in the day and I doubt it is now when its genre is almost forgotten, so let's start assuming most of you do not know what I am talking about. It is the safest approach. I will not miss anything and you will not be confused at the end.





Welcome to the country of the rising sun



Unlike Commandos Shadow Tactics is taking place in feudal Japan, somewhere around the Edo period in the middle of the rising of a new Shogun. To assist his ascend to power the Shogun hires five individuals to accomplish tasks for him. From intelligence gathering to assassination and sabotage. But the sub-title is this for a whole different reason. Playing Shadow Tactics you will feel like you are in Japan. Everything in graphical aspect is done with so much care, with every detail in its place - from the the surrounding nature through architecture to the clothes of the characters and NPCs. I have not researched but I will not be surprised if it turns out that the places you see in the game are historically accurate not only in name.





Shadows, Tactics and Blades in the back.



Shadow Tactics is a hard-core, real time, stealth game where you will lead small team of...gifted individuals. On each mission you will have different objectives which you will have to complete while attracting as little attention as possible. This is where the "hard-core stealth" part comes in.
Any of your characters cannot openly take on more than two guys and that is if he is lucky, but even if you manage to deal with the first enemies who found you, you will be either forced to retreat because more enemies will soon come or you will die. If you run back and hide somewhere out of their patrolling range this is not the end as alerted enemies will become more vigilant until the end of the mission and they may even change patterns and act differently. When even one of your guys dies the mission fails. So if you are found you are probably dead already. On the bright side you can save your game whenever you like. That does not affect the difficulty of Shadow Tactics in any way. Second thing enemy patrols have complicated patterns with looking in different directions, returning, turning back. Different patrols will even cover each other's blind spots.  It is a must to stay hidden and observe how enemies move. A mindless rush will probably cost you the mission. 



But what can you do against such enemies? Well you have more than few tricks up your sleeve, but the most important thing is to learn that stealth and silence is not something thrown in there just for theme, it is your friend, it is the way the game is meant to be played. Of course when kills cannot be avoided(or you are just a bloodthirsty beast) you will be able ti backstab, set traps, snipe nested on high towers and lure enemies into ambushes. And when you cannot safely sneak up to someone there is probably a way to kill them using the environment around them(There is nothing like killing five people by making a bull kick them). Just do not forget to hide the bodies. 






Conclusion


Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is hardcore, team based stealth game, made by Mimimi Productions(and published by Daedalic Studios) and it will bring you straight to feudal Japan in the middle of a conflict for power. The game is not turn-based only planning and observing your enemies sometimes will take so much time that it will feel like one, but dare to take hasty actions and you will die. If I have to compare it to another game, just to make it easier for you, it is definitely inspired by the old series of Commandos by Pyro Studios. But while it has taken a lot from its "predecessor" it brings a lot of its own character and flavor making it worthy of your time if you are into this kind of games. 

Where to find:

Official Site

Mimimi Productions

GoG

Steam Store