Developing a Gears of War-like cover shooter for Nintendo 3DS is unconventional, but that's just what VD-Dev did with Ironfall: Invasion. Featuring both local and online multiplayer, as well as an 11-stage campaign, the project seems fairly ambitious for the handheld, and as you'd expect, there are mixed results.
While multiplayer turned out well enough, the campaign is a mess.
In a lot of ways, The Deer God is a love letter to nature. The idea was born from the developers' childhood memories of playing in the woods and seeing wild deer, and that admiration of the outdoors is quite apparent. The forests, fields, and other natural locations are simply gorgeous, and playing as a deer is as soothing as you might expect.
However, these tranquil moments eventually give way to some rather unfortunate gameplay decisions. I got a good sense of what the developers were going for, and in some respects they succeeded. But at times, it felt like they had too many ideas, or were trying to please too many people, resulting in a few areas of gameplay that fall flat or don't seem to fit in very well. It's still a very charming adventure, but it's hard to look past its flaws.
Pneuma: Breath of Life is, through and through, a creationist tale. There's no theory of evolution, carbon dating, or Darwinism to cause debate. It's one god and the world that he brought into existence mere seconds earlier.
As it turns out, being the only inhabitant of a world is a dull affair.
Aaru's Awakening is an unrelenting challenge of a game, which places players in the world of Lumenox, a mystical land in a precarious state of balance between four deities who rule it, Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Night. Now that balance is being disrupted, as Dawn sends a faithful warrior, Aaru, to travel the domains of the other gods on a quest to remake the world.
For its first game, developer No Goblin seemingly subscribed to the K.I.S.S. school of thought: "Keep it simple, stupid." But, perhaps the studio misunderstood the acronym to mean "keep it simple and stupid." That'd explain how Roundabout revels in its own absurdity while revolving around a rock-solid gimmick: rotation.
Yes, the notion of motion is at the center of Roundabout. There is literally not a moment in gameplay where action is at a standstill. Even the most innocent, non-meaningful proceedings in Roundabout squarely feature its constantly spinning limousine -- a trademark that it rightfully relies heavily upon.
Resident Evil is in a weird place. After the middling Resident Evil 6 and the public flogging of Operation Raccoon City, I'm sure Capcom got the message that it needed to go back to basics. It did just that with Revelations on the Nintendo 3DS, which was met with enough positivity to warrant a full-on set of console ports.
Then Capcom reached overwhelming amounts of success with Resident Evil HD, a game that's as basic as you get in terms of fundamental survivor horror. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 may be more action-oriented than some other entries, but it's a damn fine showing for the series.
Iridium Studios started out as a tiny developer with a humble Kickstarter for its rhythm role-playing game Sequence. It saw enough success that lead designer Jason Wishnov was able to fill out his team and spend more time taking on a much larger project.
Four years later, There Came an Echo is finally out. Though it plays nothing like the studio's previous project, the two do share some striking similarities. Both are built on a neat idea, both explore themes of morality in science fiction, and both are a little rough around the edges.
I’ve really been delving into the indie scene lately. There’s a huge amount of games coming from smaller development studios, and I’ve found a few that really impressed me. When I heard that a “crime noir Metroidvania with a cat in a fedora” was available to review, I was all in. I mean Cave Story, Terraria, and Shovel Knight are indie titles that could all fall under the fairly vague “Metroidvania” genre and they’re some of the most critically acclaimed games of all time.
As I played Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore a Fedora, I found myself alternately intrigued and absolutely disinterested. Some things were well executed, while others were distracting and annoying. Having such fond memories of exploring Castle Dracula and Zebes, I expected a title that took on their mantle to continue the gaming traditions they established, but what was here was sandpaper compared to those classics’ smooth marble.
No, that isn't an encoding error up there in the headline: "htoL#NiQ" is indeed this PS Vita game's title, and is essentially a very stylish way to type "The Firefly Diary" in Japanese.
Whatever personal peculiarities led the team at Nippon Ichi to title their new game this way seem to extend to the game's design as well. htoL#NiQ marches to its own rhythm, and ends up being two things at once: a fascinating work of minimalism, and a needlessly difficult ordeal best enjoyed only by the most masochistic of flagellants.
The competition is fierce, and I'm not just talking about the folks delivering beat downs online. With so many fighting games on the market nowadays, fans of the genre are spoiled for choice. Studios are vying for mindshare, just as we're battling in the arena. Want people to take notice? Well then, you had better bring your 'A' game. And make sure to come out swinging.
That's exactly what Melty Blood studio French Bread has done with Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late, the latest 2D fighter to throw its hat into the ring. It might look like just another high-flying "anime" fighter at first glance, but looks can be deceiving. Under Night In-Birth is its own beast, one absolutely deserving of your time and attention.
Moon Spider Studio has released its debut title, Harold, an endearing and challenging race game about the most incompetent runner ever to need protection from a guardian angel. With some quick thinking, quicker thumbs, and an opportunistic eye, players guide the titular Harold to victory against all odds.
The Order: 1886 opens up in a fairly gritty fashion -- a first-person sequence involving a near drowning, by way of water torture. It begins with a bang, thrusting you into this unknown, and frankly frightening world where half-breed creatures live among humans.
It's cinematic and gripping, and draws you into the world that Ready at Dawn and Sony have crafted together. But it doesn't really push the envelope from there, as the cinematic angle is prevalent in nearly every facet of the experience, often hindering gameplay.
Typically, board games involving just dice aren't my thing. I don't like playing a game in which I feel I have no control in whether I win or lose.
Yahtzee is a prime example of this, while Risk is somewhere in between. Much like Monopoly, you do have to have some sort of strategy most of the time. However, because these games are so dependent on chance, those strategies often get thrown out the window.
With Ubisoft's newly released Risk for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, this is basically what you get. You can plan and plot as much as you want, but if Lady Luck isn't on your side, then you aren't going to win -- no matter what you do.
Let's take a quick look at the history of videogames with clay-based graphics. Skullmonkeys is a one-off that most people don't even remember. The ClayFighter series has been dormant since the N64 days. Armikrog has been in development hell for years. That clay-based Loco Roco game for the PlayStation 3 never happened. Maybe worst of all, Dominique Pamplemouse is not yet a million seller. What the heck, guys!?
Looking at how few clay-focused games have made it to the market makes Kirby and the Rainbow Curse an even more interesting part of Nintendo's overall strategy. It's both safe and risky at the same time. This is not Kirby's first foray into the world of arts and crafts, and Nintendo has toyed with the idea of clay graphics before. The cover art for the first and last issues of Nintendo Power were made from clay, and a lot of the promotional material from EarthBound used clay models. It's clear that Nintendo has been toying with clay for a while, but Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is the first time it has finally gone all the way clay.
Japanese publishers have some truly confusing localization titles sometimes. In 2011, Namco Bandai released Ace Combat: Assault Horizon for the PS3 and Xbox 360. It was a grittier take on the franchise that added real-world complexities to the established fictional formula, released to mixed reception.
For some reason in that same year Namco Bandai also dropped Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy (the legacy is important, you see), which was basically a remake of 1997's Ace Combat 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. Now they've added a "plus" on the end and added amiibo support.
It still has nothing to do with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.