Yet another Metroidvania type game with a name that I have no idea whatsoever what it means. Gotta be good, right?

I only now heard of this game since it was nominated for game of the year from what I can gather. It was right up there along with Undertale (which maybe you know is one of my all time favorites) so the bar is set quite high for this. Apparently, just like Undertale, everything in this game was created by one single person and strangely, I have come to accept that such games are generally better than the multi million dollar productions publishers like EA and Ubisoft dish out.

It’s strange – as all my friends played Metroid, I never really gave it a chance. I tried it a few times and did not like it at all. Quite a few years later, I started playing other games influenced by Metroid (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for example) and really liked the Metroidvania conecpt. I then started playing Super Metroid and found that hey, this is not bad at all! So I have kind of taken the reverse course here.

Stages of the game

First impressions

This game sure has some pretty SNES graphics. The music contributes to the mood with its heavy bass and space sounds. It is quite influenced by Metroid and Castlevania; it does not take a genius to tell. I miss Metroid’s spinning jump sound and animations though.. wooshwooshwooshwoosh!

I have become a very easily bored gamer. Most games can’t hold me interested for very long. This is one of those games that still can, however, it seems. I’m having a blast.

Somewhere in the middle

The music and some of the art is creeping me out for real. To be perfectly honest, as I lay in my bed last night before going to sleep, I realized I was reluctant to continue playing because of this. Still, this is the first time in a while that I haven’t been bored with a game, even for a minute. There were even moments in Undertale (!!) that I felt boredom come creeping a little bit. So, despite being a little shaky, here I am, continuing playing this great game.

Like I’ve already stated, this is a very Metroidvania game. One of the cool features is glitching: the protagonist can use his cool space gun to glitch enemies and certain objects. When I talk about glitching, think NES games fucking up resulting in weird graphical glitches. Different kinds of enemies react in different ways to glitching. Some become much easier and some actually become harder. Some become moving blocks that the player can stand on. It’s all very strange, very creepy and very unique.

Just drillin' the old the drillin' drill.

Just drillin’ the old the drillin’ drill.

I quite like the boss battles. They are very much “hey, just stand in this corner and fire and you’ll be fine” but it does take some effort to find that sweet spot. I have read some complaints online about this, but they people complaining must not have played many older games. The bosses are all patterns in old NES games, and I’d much rather have that than random bosses shooting projectiles and fire all over, making me feel clumsy and bad at the game.

I’d say it’d take something very drastic to keep me from recommending this game to everyone in the end. It’s just great.

After finishing the game

Yes, yes, yes. Buy this, play this, love this. This, along with Undertale, is by far one of my favorite games of the year (and the year is almost over, so they will likely stay that way).

There are some downsides. For one, the final boss battle was pretty anti climatic. I expected some big monster with several different forms, each harder than the previous one. Well, that wasn’t the case. Also, there may have been a bit too much running around the somewhat large map which got a bit tedious at times. A lot of people seem to have gotten stuck a few times in the game, but that didn’t really happen to me.

Verdict

Play!

I played a demo version of Shank on PS3 years ago. It was pretty damn sweet, but for some reason I never bought it. Well, it is very cheap on Steam now, and apparently there’s a sequel. Might as well try it. Let’s see if it’s as rad as I remember.

Stages of the game

First impressions

The visuals are very nice and cartoony and the controls are responsive. Not much to complain about there. I have a chainsaw, a couple of pistols and obviously a couple of SHANKS!

If you’re a sensitive asshole, you might not want to play this. I mean, some people take offense to someone sticking a chainsaw down someone else’s throat.

Shank seems like a fun enough game. I hope it’s not too long though as I figure it might get a bit repetitive.

Somewhere in the middle

Yeaaaaah, I was right. This is getting repetitive. The combat seems kind of.. I don’t know.. random? I just spam the chainsaw, pistols and shank attacks into combos, get hit by someone and lose some HP, shank/chainsaw/shoot some more, get damaged a lot, get a shitload of HP fills all the time..

I have obtained a few new weapons, but they don’t seem quite as good as just spamming the jump-dive-chainsaw-attack. Except for the shotgun, obviously. The shotgun is awesome.

I can probably keep playing if I just take breaks now and again.

After finishing the game

I would probably not be as happy with this game if I had bought it when it was first released, at a higher price. Now, though, I am quite content. This was a fun little game. A couple of hours long maybe and very violent. The storytelling is pretty intense, even though there’s not much of a story to talk about.

If you enjoy sidescrolling 2D beat’em ups (or shank’em ups as it were), then by all means, play this.

Verdict

Play!

Strange name for a game. I have never heard of this, but it was cheap on Steam and it looks kind of like vvvvvv, so that’s what I am expecting. Let’s see if it is as good!

Apparently this game is “based on difficulty” and has “custom checkpoints”. That is all I know.

Stages of the game

First impressions

Very slick soundtrack so far! Graphics are simple enough that even an artistically void person such as myself could draw them in Paint. They look pretty good, though.

So the “custom checkpoint system” means I can place checkpoints wherever I want to, and then just respawn there whenever I die. Sound easy? You only have 100 lives for all of the game. Unless you play on Easy, where you have unlimited lives. That’s what I’m doing. Yeah, I’m a coward.

Somewhere in the middle

Beat the game. It was short. 15-20 minutes, maybe. It was alright though, I guess.

There’s a remix mode, featuring 8 levels of “varying difficulty” and where cowards such as myself cannot easy mode. Let’s see how this goes…

After finishing the game

Beat the remix as well. I had 100 lives to start with, ended with 79. Too easy I would say; I got a B- score on the first try.

This was a cute little game. Worth my while and it certainly did not overstay its welcome. I’d say it’s worth a playthrough, especially if you can get it really cheap.

Verdict

Play!

I have played quite a few indie games over the years and a lot of them have been awesome. Having just finished Undertale I am in the mood for more wonderful indie goodness, and I stumbled upon Cave Story+ on Steam, which just so happens to at the time of this writing have the average review score of “Overwhelmingly positive”, I have to give this a try.

I don’t know much about the game, but it’s supposed to be a metroidvania type game with fantastic music.

Stages of the game

First impressions

I hate the design of the main character. He just looks so bland and has an ugly, flat head. Also, why is the music so acclaimed? It’s not bad my any means, but c’mon, I just played Undertale, which had the best soundtrack I’ve heard for a long time. I guess it’s cool that you can choose between the original tracks, remastered and “new” versions though.

I was never huge on Metroid, or on Castlevania, but at least Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are very atmospheric and have good gameplay. This just seems like a cheap game made in Game Maker Studios or something.

So, I’ve acquired a couple of different weapons. They’re okay, I guess. The enemy design is also okay.. I guess. This just about sums up my first impressions of this game. It’s okay.. I guess. I definitely have yet to see the greatness here.

Somewhere in the middle

Uh, so I guess I’m a robot from the surface or something. I don’t know. I don’t care.

I have obtained a few more weapons and seen a few more areas. Nothing impressive. Seems like your ordinary Metroidvania style game without all the content. There was this one part where I had to run back and forth a bunch of times to collect “Jellyfish Juice”. It was excruciatingly boring. Then I had to collect some dogs for an old lady. That was also boring. The enemies are boring, the level design is very “meh” and the characters are also bland and boring (except for Balrog, the toaster guy who is apparently really modeled after a soap bar).

The best thing about Cave Story+ is the soundtrack, and I don’t even think it’s that great.

After finishing the game

Yeah, okay, so I just realized I’d get the bad ending if I’d keep playing this piece of crap. One of the supporting characters fell down a hole, so I thought “well, better check on him”. I thought it wouldn’t be a problem since I had traded my first gun for the machine gun, which fully upgraded can act as kind of a jet pack, enabling me to traverse vertical spaces easily. The gun trade is apparently one of three available ones (which I could not possibly know). Jumping down to check on the fallen guy will actually give me the bad ending, I read online somewhere. Really? REALLY?! Did the maker of this game add the machine gun after this part was done or something? Did he not realize that going down that hole could be a very rational decision if you have this gun? This makes no sense.

I won’t play the last part of this game (which by the way is only 3-4 hours long) and I won’t ever play it again unless I’m forced to at gunpoint or something.

This is seriously the most overrated game I have ever played, and I’ve played some pretty overrated games. This is why it is generally not a very good idea to listen to people on the Internet. This game has a cult-like following and I so can’t understand why.

Do yourself a favor and go play Undertale instead of this shit. Maybe this game was OK as a freeware indie game before indie games were really a thing. I accept that. But as a 15€ Steam game, this game smells. It’s short, ugly, badly designed and has a soundtrack that is only a little bit above average.

Verdict

Don’t play!

adore Earthbound, both the first and the second of the series (I regret not having played the third one yet). When I heard there’s a game on Steam that supposedly is inspired by Earthbound, I knew I had to buy it. Will play it with my XBone gamepad.

Stages of the game

First impressions

The graphics are equally charming and horrifying. The music (well, at least the three tracks I’ve heard so far) is amazing. Reminds me of Earthbound and Final Fantasy 6. The fighting system is obviously inspired by Earthbound but has a cool twist involving moving a heart around to avoid projectiles or whatever.

It seems I don’t need to harm anyone at all.. in fact, I am explicitly told so by the cow/guardian creature I met in the beginning. Well, she also told me not to walk anywhere, which I did. I wonder what would’ve happened if I had not walked anywhere.. I wonder what would happen if I killed a creature instead of drive them into tears or running away from them.

This game is really weird, and it has made me giggle a couple of times already in the first ten or so minutes. I am sure I will love this.

Somewhere in the middle

Hilarious. Really, Undertale is hilarious. It also fucks with my head quite a bit. I don’t want to go into details because this is the kind of game you will enjoy more if you don’t know too much about what makes it special, but I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll know what kind of things I refer to once you play this.

The fighting system is very unusual and it just keeps getting stranger (and more hilarious!) There is no need to kill anyone here; you can just spare enemies based on what actions you perform towards them. I imagine the game is not quite as fun on a homicidal run as it is on a pacifist one.

After finishing the game

It just keeps coming. This game will take you by surprise, several times. That’s for sure.

Just finished Undertale and it is such a unique game. It is a tad short however, so I am hoping for a sequel. The limited length of the game, however, maybe is what keeps the game fresh and continually funny.

Just do yourself a favor and play this game without reading any more about it. Especially if you like the 16 bit Final Fantasy games and Earthbound.

Verdict

Play!

Ok, so I find that my usual review format is rather awkward for the type of games that doesn’t really have an ending, like online games for instance. Such is also the case for Euro Truck Sim (at least I think so), so I created a new category for this: “Endless”. I will just briefly talk about these games and then put a verdict on them. Now, let’s put on that beard and get on with Euro Truck Simulator…

I never sat behind a wheel in my life. Well, maybe I did, but I certainly never drove a car. When I saw Euro Truck Simulator 2 in a bundle on Steam, I couldn’t resist. I have heard surprisingly good things about this game.

I decided to go with a manual gearbox (hey, this is a European truck sim, not American!) which of course was not going to do me, the inexperienced (to say the least) driver, any favors. Sticks and stones may break my bones, and the stick certainly broke me at first.

Guess what? I really like this game. It’s very relaxing, and I think I may even be learning some things about traffic. The controls felt a bit clunky at first, but that’s probably just my inexperience showing, because after having played for about an hour, I did just fine.

I pick up this game from time to time now, put some Lynyrd Skynyrd on in the background and go crazy on the roads by OBEYING THE LAW, BABY! I certainly recommend this to anyone who wants a nice little piece of zen in their lives. Play this with a controller though (or I guess a wheel and pedals).

Verdict

Play!

I read some very nice things about this game. Many have called it “game of the year 2013”. I tried the first Bioshock when it was new and I hated it; I couldn’t stand the character design and the atmosphere was too spooky for me (no, I don’t enjoy horror games…). Let’s see if this game will be any different for me.

Stages of the game

First impressions

Right after I stopped playing FarCry 2 because it made my eyes bleed, I popped BioShock into my PS3, and what a difference! To be fair, this game is a lot newer, but the controls are smooth as a baby’s bum and the graphics are great, without sacrificing framerate.

The city floating city Columbia is magnificent. This is just my kind of atmosphere. The fuzzy feeling in my gut quickly turned into something else rather quickly though, as I was suddenly branded “the false shepherd”. I was then attacked, to which I counter-attacked and mutilated some dude’s face. Oh man, I think this is going to be a great game. I feel much better playing this than I did the original BioShock.

Somewhere in the middle

Yup, this is still a great game in many ways. Some things bug me a little bit, though. It’s a little too easy (although I do play it on normal difficulty, so maybe that’s not a valid complaint). At one point I found myself just bum rushing what was basically an army of soldiers. I immediately dropped to low health because of this dumb move, but my in-game companion just threw me a medkit and I managed it anyway.

I’m also not a big fan of the supernatural elements of the game. At least there aren’t any laser weapons (I do prefer weapons that shoot bullets).

The important thing is I’m having lots of fun playing this. The monorail system is pretty cool gliding about, the atmosphere is great and the story is pretty interesting. I don’t think I’ll be bored with this. In fact, I thought the game was just about to end but it didn’t and I was glad.

After finishing the game

I got pretty much what I expected, I would say. I would have preferred more of the nice atmosphere from the beginning, but that’s a minor complaint. Also, the game was a little bit too easy for my taste. I honestly think I used vigors (kind of like magic skills, requiring collectable salts) under 50 times altogether during my playthrough.

Verdict

Play!

TellTale creates games that are pretty much more interactive stories than games (seeing as how the gameplay pretty much consists of walking around looking at conveniently highlighted things, and QTE fights) where the player gets to make choices that supposedly drives the story in different directions (although all choices inevitably leads down the same disturbing paths). I’ve already played through TellTale’s The Walking Dead on my PS3, and it was awesome, so I am expecting this to be something similar, but in a world full of characters from tales.

The first episode is free for Android (and I guess also the other platforms) so why not give it a try? Since I fell flat for Kingdom Rush, I’ve enjoyed playing stuff on my Nexus 7 and I bet I’ll enjoy this too.

Stages of the game

First impressions

The soundtrack is bad-ass. The graphics are great in all its cel shaded cartoonishness. The game also runs very well on my Nexus 7. It actually runs, and looks, better than Walking Dead on my PS3. So weird.

The first, free episode successfully peaked my interest, and I just bought the remaining four episodes. The story is intriguing and considerably more raw than I came in expecting.

I definitely recommend downloading the first episode and trying it out, especially since it doesn’t cost anything.

Somewhere in the middle

I don’t want this to end. I mean, I really don’t want this to end, like, ever. I am so glad I got this when all episodes were already readily available, because I don’t think I could have waited.

The atmosphere, thanks to the story, voice acting, music and graphics, is splendid. I’m really sucked into this. TellTale really knows how to keep me playing, and that is very impressive in a time where most AAA games pretty much bore me out.

After finishing the game

Please, just buy this. It is definitely worth your money, probably no matter the platform. Probably my game of the year for 2014. I can’t wait for a second season to be released.

Verdict

Play!

So, I decided to buy some old classic PS3 games that I’ve for some reason missed to play, and that right now are dirt cheap since we’re near the end of the life cycle of the console. One of those games is FarCry 2. I’ve played FarCry 3 and enjoyed it very much, so I went in expecting something similar but worse (since it is older).

Stages of the game

First impressions

Why did I buy this? The graphics are horrible for the PS3. The controls are really sluggish and it’s very difficult to aim. Why has this game received good reviews? I bet the PC version handles much more nicely and looks a lot better.  I feel sorry for whoever ported this game for the PS3 and wonder how they’re able to sleep at night.

Guess what? This is awful enough that I can’t even continue playing this (and that does not happen very often for me). If I do decide to continue one rainy day then I guess I’ll update this review at that time. Maybe it’s unfair to only play this for an hour or so and immediately reject it, but I honestly don’t see how I could possibly continue playing this without the feeling that I’m wasting my precious weekend.

I wish I had a nice gaming PC to play this on, but I don’t, so there you have it.

Somewhere in the middle

N/A

After finishing the game

N/A

Verdict

Don’t play!

Kingdom Rush screenshot

One of the best Tower Defence games ever

I’m a real sucker for tower defence games. Something about that genre really speaks to me. One of the best such games I have yet to encounter is Kingdom Rush, available for iOS, Android and PC (as a free, Flash based browser game with the possibility of buying additional crap). I first played the Flash version and then bought the Android version.

The game (based on promotions, the Google Play description, screenshots etc) looks like one of those awful games that are constantly promoted on the banners across the web that I have to view when in environments where ad blocking software is not available. It’s not, though.

Simple, classic tower defense with minor twists. You are only allowed to build towers on some pre-defined spots on every map, which is fine and makes it a bit more challenging. Enemies travel a pre-defined route towards the target that you have to defend. You have access to heroes that can walk this path and clash with the enemies.

Overall, I played and enjoyed this game that I spent 7 Swedish crowns on (about one USD) much more than the games I recently bought for PS3 for a total price of 600 Swedish crowns (about 85 USD).

Stages of the game

First impressions

Looks promising, but darn, it’s hard, difficult, challenging, fractious, tricky, tough, but also lots of fun. If I can figure out how to use the different tower types I’m sure I’ll be able to have some fun with this. The graphics are adorable.

Somewhere in the middle

Okay, I’m hooked. This is great. Probably the best tower defence game I’ve played (maybe apart from Pixeljunk Monsters – mainly because of the co-op mode). This is way more fun and relaxing to play than the Hitman HD Trilogy I just bought for PS3. Can’t stop playing this for about an hour a day on my tablet now.

You definitely need some tactical skills to pull all the levels off. Some are really challenging. No way you can complete this game by just randomly building and upgrading towers.

After finishing the game

Well, that was worth my money alright. And it was so cheap! I could’ve bought like one banana for that price, and this sure tasted better than a banana. I’ve kind of looked down upon Android as a gaming platform before but this is amazing.

Verdict

Play!