You don't have to look very far across the interweb to see pages and pages detailing the doom and gloom of the Wii U these days. Even here at Dealspwn we've been mixed in our opinions of Nintendo's latest console and it's future. But for all the naysayers and harbingers of misery there have also been many who point to a few AAA titles on the horizon that may yet save the floundering machine. And arguably the biggest of these flagship titles is Super Smash Bros.
But despite this franchise having legions of fans, and is almost guaranteed to be a sure-fire hit, could even this title be a double-edged sword for the Wii U? Could it potentially do more damage than good?
Let's start off with the more obvious, and indeed optimistic view of things. The Super Smash Bros' franchise is huge, it has sold nearly 23m units across it's 3 previous games, and when you consider that half those sales alone came from the latest installment on the Wii, it's certainly a franchise on the up.Click here to read more...
For many gamers, myself included, Resident Evil 4 presents a pinnacle of the series that hasn't been reached since, despite two big budget subsequent releases, as well as a smattering of other lower-key launches too. And as Capcom prepares this week to release Resident Evil Ultimate HD Edition for the PC, it raises into question again why people fell in love with and still adore Leon's battle against the Ganados above any others before or since. And more to the point, why has such a great game not been taken as a basis for later games, and built upon to produce an even greater game? Why do we keep coming back to a game released over 9 years ago for our fix, and how did Capcom not capitalise on it and make two stellar follow ups in Resident Evil 5 and 6?
The first reason for this apparent fall from grace is all in the build up. I remember a quote from Shigeru Miyamoto where he said he personally creates the first level in action games last, his rationale being:
“Your first level (or tutorial, or sequence, or whatever you want to call it) should serve as a prologue for the rest of your game. It should introduce many of the concepts your player will be interacting with through the rest of your game, and it should do so in a way that doesn’t alienate them right away.”
It's so important to get the first part of your game right, as it needs to set the tone and expectation for the rest of the experience. When thinking about Resident Evil, this means building up tension and anxiety and a feeling of helplessness. It needs to get your heart racing in a mixture of fear and adrenaline. Think about your favourite Resident Evil game and think about its opening sequence, whether it's the original's opening cut-sequence and first zombie encounter, or if indeed if it's Leon's experience in Resident Evil 4 in the creepy woods, the aggressive Ganados and of course the facing off against the entire village before the ominous bell tower tolls.Click here to read more...
Take your minds back 28 months to a time before Nintendo Direct existed. It was a time before Rihanna was number 1 with "We Found Love" (yes I looked that up), it was a different time. Before Iwata, Miyamato and the gang would get together infront of clean white backgrounds to update us on the latest goings on at Nintendo Towers. But before November 2011, we didn't have the fun, unique updates that are symbolic of the quirky nature of Nintendo. Little were we to know back then that these Nintendo Directs would also provide regular disappointment to those that watched them.
But why is it always this way? Well, for a few reasons really, and not all of them are down to Ninty themselves. Let's take a look.
Firstly we have to consider the purpose of the Nintendo Direct itself. Obviously they are there to provide key information about Nintendo's new software, hardware and to a lesser extent, their strategies. But who to? Whilst Nintendo's presentations are available to the entire region they are aimed at simultaneously, it would be naive to think that everyone knows about them, let alone tunes in.
Fundamentally the people who are aware and watch Nintendo Directs are going to be those working in the industry, aspiring to be in it, or already have a distinct interest in all things Nintendo. Which means right from the off, Nintendo have a fairly tough audience to please. And not least because the perception of the big N in recent years has been waning. Just ask Matt what he thinks of the Wii U, give him the soap box, stand back, and you'll see what I mean. But ironically this perception doesn't mean the audience wants Nintendo to fail, in fact it wants the complete opposite, and this heaps the pressure on any announcements of any kind. Because we as a group turn up full of hope and expectation of that big story, that new strategy that is going to revert the fortunes of one of the pillars of the gaming community.Click here to read more...
With Nintendo delivering their first Nintendo Direct of the year, there was a fair bit of information for Mr Iwata to get through. Below is a topline of the key highlights for you. Let us know what you think. The full presentation can be seen here.
The first reveal was for the latest Smash Bros title for Wii U and 3DS. Little Mac from the Punch-Out series is set to feature as a playable character for the first time. As his name suggests, this newcomer will be a shorter playable character than most allowing him to get in low shots and jabs, and his all-powerful uppercut move. From the trailer you could spot an interesting counter move a la Marth and Ike from the previous installment. As well as a Power Meter that he can build up to increase his attack power, his Final Smash move was also revealed to be a transformation into Giga Mac from the Punch-Out game on the WiiClick here to read more...
Why ever bother with a remake? With the constant drive these days for new and exciting IPs providing different experiences, it's sometimes easy to forget the merit of a good update to an old favourite. Once we get past the negative notion of them simply being a lazy, easy buck to lace developer's pockets, and look a bit deeper, we see remakes can actually be equally beneficial to us as consumers and the industry.
But of course, only if they're done well, and boy have there been examples of good and bad over the years, and even some quite recent ones too. So in this article, let's explore what makes a good remake, and why, and who seems to be following this path and who's fallen off the wagon slightly.
Let's hit the obvious head on before we start. Doing a remake presents a unique opportunity to present a previously-released game on a new console - usually in a new generation. As such it opens up a ton of opportunities for developers that weren't there when they first made the game - better hardware, game pad/machine functionality etc. So to make a good remake you need to ensure you're maximising these new benefits. And one sure-fire way to do the complete opposite is to simply port a game. And it's even worse if you do it badly. When this happens it's really hard to argue against the main criticism of remakes I mentioned earlier - the developer simply cashing in. SEGA ported their Dreamcast hit Sonic Adventure to Gamecube, and then later to PSN and XBLA without any real focus on what could be achieved on these system, or even how the game played with these new and different controllers. And of course there's the shockingly bad port of the original Street Fighter II onto the ZX Spectrum - which looks horrendous and sounds and plays even worse.
Now I'm not blind in saying that ports don't play a role in videogames. Of course they do, they can broaden the audience, and thus appeal of a game instantly by releasing it on more consoles, and for developers this is a more cost-effective way of people experiencing their creations than developing a new game from scratch. But in the grand scheme of a remake, and more importantly what makes a good remake, ports present a missed opportunity to do things differently. And we'll look at these opportunities now in more detail.Click here to read more...
Developers: Avidly Wild Games
Publishers: Avidly Wild Games
It's been nearly three and a half decades since the release of Rogue - a text-based Dungeons & Dragons style game. Its launch seemed innocuous at the time, but its focus on traversing dungeons, equipment, fighting enemies, and the fact that if you died you had to start the whole adventure again (now coined 'perma-death') garnered legions of fans, and as such this style of game became a sub-genre for 2D RPGs - the roguelike.
Our Darker Purpose is Avidly Wild Games' first stab into this sub-genre, available now on Steam after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Set in the Edgewood Home for Lost Children, you play the role of Cordy, a lonely student, who after the disappearance of all the teachers, must battle through the hordes of warring factions of children to make her way to the top of the building to seek The Administrators to find out what has happened to everyone.
It plays as a 2D adventure game from a top-down perspective, with you having to move around and fire at enemies. When you come into contact with an enemy, obstacle or projectile, you take damage, and when your health reaches zero it's game over. In your arsenal as well as an infinite ranged attack, you also have a fixed number of juice boxes to refill health, and chalk which works as a one-time use area attack against enemies in close proximity.Click here to read more...
It seems 2013 was the year that Matt Gardner (Senior Editor of Dealspwn and resident Slash lookalike) revealed his hatred for me, or perhaps more specifically his passion for seeing me suffer. Just a simple trawl back through the games he assigned me to review last year yield a collection of games that in the main were harder than your average. Couple it with the fact that 2013 was also the year I finally finished Dark Souls and a look back on the year makes me realise what a ruddy hard slog it was.
Not that I’m complaining of course – some of those games were bloody brilliant – but such exposure to challenging games made me take a big step back. Often in gaming we praise the difficult game, the one that is a challenge, to the point where difficulty has become almost synonymous with quality in a game. But in reality, is this really the case? Throughout 2013 ,the difficulty in the games I reviewed has been high, but the quality hasn't always been there. I've reviewed the very good - games like Spelunky - down to the really quite bad - step forward A-Men 2. So clearly this theory of 'difficult equals good' doesn't always ring true, in fact I believe now more than ever that this way of thinking is completely wrong.
To start with we have to look at why we like “difficult” games, and then dig deeper to see how this is being used in today’s games, for better or worse.
One school of thought is that our love of a difficult game stems from our early gaming days. A time when technical limitation rather than designer choice made mid games saves rare or even non-existent. Where a game had to be finished in one sitting, lives were limited, and a mistake was costly – no hiding behind a bin for three second for that bullet wound to the head to heal back in the 80s, no siree! And we loved those games, those early experiences, and for those of us old enough to remember them, nostalgia sometimes clouds our judgement for what we really want in a game. Everyone knows we love the good old days. Everyone knows older games were harder. Well therefore everyone likes hard games. Strike one for the prosecution.Click here to read more...
Developer: Revolution Software
Publisher: Revolution Software
It’s very rare that my fiancée is more excited for a game than me. Normally it’s me explaining to her why you should pre-order, why a console needs to be had on launch day, and why that musical chest I got free with The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds is so friggin’ awesome!
But for one franchise in particular she becomes just like me. The geek within rises, and she gets super excited. Step forward Broken Sword. Now luckily for me we’ve been waiting a long time since the last Broken Sword game – longer than our entire relationship in fact, so this is the first time I’ve bore witness to this excitement. I thought she got excited for Zelda, but Broken Sword is in another ballpark. Apparently this is a big deal – she funded it through kickstarter no less - so I’d better do it justice, or so help me that “big day” next year might never come.
No pressure then right? So, eyes down and concentrate.
For those not in as unique a relationship as mine, Broken Sword first hit the gaming scene way back in 1996. It focused on two individuals – local girl Nico Collard and American George Stobbart – who team up to solve a Parisian bombing, with many twists and turns along the way. The original game was your standard 2D point and click adventure, with sequels sending our heroes further afield to more varied locations, and adopting different gameplay mechanics – and even embracing 3D – with mixed success.Click here to read more...
Platform: Wii U
Developers: Nintendo EAD
On Wednesday 18th December, Nintendo gave its final Nintendo Direct of the year, and in it announced the launched of a collection of minigames based on Nintendo Entertainment System favourites. This collection – made available on Wii U straight after the Nintendo Direct itself – would boast over 200 minigames of some of the most memorable moments of key games from Nintendo’s inaugural home console. But at £8.99 for a bunch of minigames that are over 20 years old, is NES Remix really worth your time and money, or is this just a cheap, dated version of WarioWare?
The main premise of the game takes much from the aforementioned game starring Mario’s arch-nemesis. Only this time, rather than the games being split by the type of action you have to do in the game, they are split by the games themselves. At the start 6 games are unlocked for you – Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr, Excite Bike and Balloon Fight. The idea being that each minigame takes place in one of these games, with a set specific objective, or multiple consecutive objectives. Like Warioware the games are short, sharp bursts of fun, with you up against the clock.
When you complete a minigame, you are awarded a ranking out of 3 stars based on your clearance time, tapping into the Angry Birds perfectionist in all of us to pick up the maximum ranking on each minigame. More stars mean more unlocks of minigames, as well as unlocking different games to play – such as The Legend of Zelda and Ice Climbers. However perhaps what’s more rewarding, is collecting stars also adds to the special ‘NES Remix’ list of minigames.Click here to read more...
Christmas is a special time for a lot of us – it’s a period where we spend time with friends and family, and maybe indulge in a few things that we wouldn’t think of doing for the rest of the year. But this strange change in habits is not limited to bad jumpers and eating sprouts, but I find it also impacts the type of games I play greatly too. As I reflect on another Christmas gone by, and await the next 360-odd days until the next one, I thought I’d share my observations of a gaming Christmas – and it would be good to share yours too.
The most obvious change at Christmas time, with the arrival of a plethora of distant relatives, is the amount of people to play games. And as gaming becomes more and more widely embraced, this means the life of the local multiplayer receives a well-deserved lifeline. The beauty of the local multiplayer is in its variety. Party games, competitive multiplayer and even co-op play provide a wide range of different experiences that suit multiple people huddled around the same TV with a controller in their hand. Suffice to say that no matter how good online gaming is, a headset is a poor substitute for the look on your brother’s face when you beat him, and proceed to ceremoniously wind him up .Click here to read more...
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was my first ever Zelda game. It will always hold a special place in my heart not only for being the game that introduced me to one of the greatest franchises I ever have had the pleasure of playing, but also for being a fantastic game in its own right. So when a straight sequel was announced, I have no shame in revealing that I was very excited - kiddie at Christmas excited.
But how would I find a sequel to a game that I have placed on a pedestal for two whole decades? Would it be able to live up to the game I held so dear, and would there be enough difference in this game to make it a classic in its own right?
Like most Zelda games, we begin with Link oversleeping – Hylean heroes apparently need their ten hours of beauty sleep a night. After being woken to go and do some work, our hero gets accidentally caught up in a very familiar plot involving kidnap of Sage descendants to a mysterious parallel land. It’s up to our hero to collect some well-known jewels, and a famous sword to go off after them.
So yes, story-wise this won’t win any awards for individuality, in fact its parallel to Link to the Past’s story is equalled in the mirroring that also occurs between Hyrule and the game’s mysterious parallel land known as Lorule. And Lorule itself is essentially the Dark World from Link to the Past, right down to its music, design and enemies.Click here to read more...
With the new 3DS title A Link Between Worlds being released just last week, and with a Dealspwn review still a work in progress (early impressions are very positive though), I thought I’d compile a Top 5 that should whet your Zelda appetite, and hopefully provoke plenty of discussion. So without further ado I present to you the Top 5 Best Zelda games.
NB. There may be some light spoilers, but to be honest if you’ve not played these games yet, then shame on you!
The original game received a lot of unfair criticism when it was released, due to its new direction in art style, its apparently low difficulty level, and all that sailing between small islands of interest. However what lay underneath was a game that was packed full charm, even from Link himself – normally a protagonist void of emotion and character. It also introduced a parry mechanic which added a new dimension to combat, which created a much more fluid fighting system, and a more energetic and flexible Link than we were used to seeing.
Essentially it was an adventure that never took itself too seriously and was probably the most fun Zelda that has ever been released. Upon realisation of that, you understand the new visuals worked perfectly with the game’s core design and allowed for a really enjoyable experience.
When the HD version released this year for Wii U, we finally had the game we’d always hoped for, with Nintendo addressing many of the technical criticisms, and adding in a new Hero Mode to really up the challenge. Unmissable.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PS3 | PS Vita
Developer: Bloober Team
Publisher: Namco Bandai
The aim of A-Men 2 from Namco Bandai is to take us back to a simpler time. A time when games were all about the puzzles, where the game design presented intelligent problems, and the solutions required your own ingenuity and patience. They tend to go hand in hand with a sense of difficulty and perseverance – the game must provide a challenge otherwise a puzzle is anything but what its name suggests – but it’s all about balance. You want a game that challenges you, but keeps you wanting more. It’s a very fine line that can be very hard to keep to – maybe even more so in a puzzler. So how well does Amen-2 do in this regard?
The core of the game is that you are tasked with getting your groups of “A-Men” from their starting points in the level to the helicopter pick up point at the end. To make the helicopter appear, you need to have cleared a certain amount of enemies from the level to allow for a safe landing. But even with the helicopter here, getting to it is normally easier said than done. In true puzzler style, there are many obstacles between your elite team and their goal. To add to the difficulty, your units cannot sustain any damage from enemies or drop from more than one level above, or they will die. Any death to any unit will result in a level restart.
Click here to read more...
Developer: Scientifically Proven
Publisher: Midnight City
There’s a lot to be said for a good old-fashioned 2D platformer. It’s been a mainstay of the industry for decades due to its simplicity and accessibility as a genre. But as such the plethora of games has made the genre a little stagnated in that almost everything that can be done has been done to it. The room for innovation is limited, but as such is celebrated when it is executed well. So now Scientifically Proven – an indie developer – have created Blood of the Werewolf, their offering in the world of 2D platforming, currently available on Steam for £7.99, but how does it compare to nearly 30 years of history?
In the game, you take control of Selena, a werewolf, who is on the hunt for her missing child, Nickoli, who is one of the last surviving werewolves. Her journey will take her through a variety of landscapes and enemies, with tough obstacles to overcome. She’ll face bosses who are literally a who’s who of fantasy horror titles - Dracula, Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll to just three.
The main mechanical focus, when it comes to gameplay, is that you play the game as Selena in either human or wolf form. In human form, she is armed with a crossbow – whose aim is controlled with the mouse – which she uses to combat the enemies she comes across. It can also be used to shoot switches and other objects which can impact the surroundings. As a wolf, Selena grows in size and can use her brute strength to swipe at enemies. Also she inherits that well-known werewolf ability of the double-jump allowing her to reach even higher or further places than in human form. As is probably apparent from those descriptions, the two forms control and play very differently, but the ability to switch between them is preset in the game rather than at the player’s will. Indoor / underground sections where the moon is blocked out will be played as a human, whereas outdoor / windowed areas will be as a wolf. On the face of it feels restrictive, but actually what it allows the game to do is have sections specialised to either form, allowing for tighter level design rather than having to accommodate either form.Click here to read more...
Developer: Mine Loader Software Co., Ltd
Publisher: Namco Bandai
It may come as a surprise to some of you younger gaming ragamuffins out there, but despite my age, I missed the Pac-Man craze when it first came out by a good 5 to 10 years, and as such have never really grown up with it close to my heart. Sure I’ve played it through the years, but only fleetingly, and so I’m in probably quite a unique position as I write this review, that I won’t be weepy-eyed over hours spent in an arcade spending all my pocket money on the early 80s smash hit. Besides getting all soppy would undo all the hard work I‘ve done to build up this manly, butch guy image you all see me as here at Dealspwn, right?
Ahem. Moving on…
This latest iteration of the Pac-Man series is the tongue-twisting (and presumably Street Fighter-inspired) Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX+. The game looks to build on the 2007 release, Pac-Man: Championship Edition. The ‘DX’ version came 3 years later on XBLA, and now Namco Bandai have released a DX+ version of the game – as the current definitive version. Still with me? Good, let’s go eat some ghosts.Click here to read more...
Platform: Wii U
Developer: Nintendo EAD
For those of you who remember reading the Dealspwn Game of the Year 2012 Highlights will remember me stating that my most anticipated game for this year would be a Zelda Wii U game. Well 10 months down the line, and I’d be lying if I thought or hoped that game would have been a remake of a game I’d completed a decade ago. I wanted new Zelda, never-before-seen Zelda, and what I got from Nintendo was Wind Waker HD. I said before that Nintendo needed a Zelda game to propel them forward – a stance that has further been emphasised by a quiet first-half of 2013 and imminent next-gen console launches. So this review is not just any old review. On its shoulders is not just an evaluation of how good a Wii U game Wind Waker HD is, but also whether it can fill that need and push the Wii U forward. And also more importantly (to me at least) was my prediction vindicated that this would be the game of the year? You’ll be able to tell by my smugness at the end.
For those unfamiliar with the original game, or who simply weren’t gaming back when Busted were topping the charts in the UK, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was the main Zelda franchise release for the Nintendo GameCube. It took a few notably different steps to its gameplay and style off the back of previous N64 powerhouses - Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Despite gamers of the time (myself included) drooling over higher-res, detailed graphics thanks to a Spaceworld demo in 2000, Nintendo decided cel-shading was the way to go – putting a higher emphasis on the emotion of Link and other characters, something they felt was more achievable in this art style. Cue the witty “Cel-da” puns from games journalists and players alike, unable to see how a game that looked like a cartoon could carry on such a serious and beloved franchise.Click here to read more...
Developer: Codemasters Birmingham
Publisher: Codemasters | Namco Bandai
“It’s lights out, and away we go!” Yes, it’s that time of year again, as Codemasters deliver us their latest annual offering of Formula One racing - putting you in the driving seat against the most highly skilled and highly paid drivers in the world. And Max Chilton. And the big USP of this year’s iteration is that of classic cars and tracks to race around as opposed to just those on the current calendar. But will this addition and the package in general, see you racing to the shops, or leave you looking for an early retirement? And yes, the racing puns get worse.
Firstly let me be really clear on something. I place myself in a (what I hope is a fairly broad) demographic of gamers that love watching Formula 1 on TV, but when it comes to displaying that passion in an F1 simulator game, I’m useless. Seriously, I’m very, very bad at F1 games, and whilst this means that I won’t ever win the World Championship without some help (more later), it does also put me in a spectacular position to critique the game for the less skilled in F1 games, or those new to the genre or series. So strap yourself in, and prepare for the ride (told you).
Your first step into F1 2013 will be the famous ‘Young Driver Test’ that happens each year to find F1’s latest prodigal talent. It’s a way for the game to not only introduce you to the controls and mechanics of the game, but also provides a premise for unlocking teams that you can drive with in the main career mode. The better you perform in each of these tests, the more notice you’ll attract from better teams, giving you more options in Career Mode. It’s a great introduction, both with its pacing but also with its unforgiving policy of performance. If there’s anything newcomers can learn from the Young Driver’s Test, it’s that that driving in an F1 game is all about precision, control and skill. Any wayward braking or cornering will be punished through lack of car performance, and failing tests. It sounds hard, harsh even, and it is, but this is F1, and the sport itself is a specialist sport for a reason. F1 gaming veterans will eat this test for breakfast, with it offering little difference from previous iterations, but as a familiarisation exercise, it still works competently enough.Click here to read more...
Developers: Kraken Empire
Touted as a “fast-paced immersive adventure shooter”, Kromaia sees you take control of a ship in 3D space, where your task is to navigate obstacles and take down enemies. We’ll be honest, it’s not the first time a crowdfunding effort has pitched something like this, but Kromaia's distinctive aesthetics and expansive approach to player customisation are looking to set it apart from a SHMUP genre that’s very much back in vogue thanks to the likes of Kickstarter and (in this case) Indiegogo. We’ve had the opportunity to test drive a preview build of the game to demonstrate the control system, though it should be noted that this only included a survival mode. Basically, the idea is to shoot enemies and accumulate points whilst trying to dodge the enemy fire and oncoming obstacles until your shields run out and it’s game over. The ambitions of the developers at Kraken Empire do extend further than this -- there will also be a story mode which will make up the bulk of the main game, full of puzzles to solve and more tricky obstacles – but we didn’t get to see that, so we’ll have to take their word for it.
But back to what we did get to grips with. Kromaia boasts a control scheme that uses a “six degrees of freedom” navigation system, which to put in layman’s terms is essentially raising or lowering the pitch of your craft (up and down), steering left or right, or strafing left and right. This in itself is nothing revolutionary, but it’s the speed and fluidity through which you manoeuvre your ship that gives this game an edge over most. Being able to seamlessly go from strafe to turn to pitch means with some deft mouse click or button presses (the controls are customisable to your preferences) you can dodge enemies or obstacles with a certain amount of style and grace, without losing the quick-paced nature of the game. It can be quite rewarding at times to pull off a nice dodge with a quick strafe or tilt, although mastering it will require a certain amount of practice. But the good news is, it’s a control system with a large amount of promise, which is handy, because if the main game is going to be focussed around puzzles and obstacles, a good control system is vital to its success.Click here to read more...
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Point and click is perhaps the genre I remember most fondly growing up. Hours upon hours spent on games such as Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island as a rabid kleptomaniac trying to work out what random combination of items the developers had conjured up this time to get past my current predicament. So it was with a wry smile that I powered up Memoria, a game in the Dark Eye series from Daedalic Entertainment, and a direct sequel to The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav released in 2011. In Memoria, like its predecessor, you play as Geron, a bird catcher from Aventuria, in the kingdom of Andergast. Geron's fairy friend Nuri has been turned into a raven by a curse, and you are looking for a way to turn her back to her former self. Your search has led you into the forest to seek a mysterious mage called Fahi. Fahi offers to teach you a way to change Nuri back if you can solve the riddle he has been dreaming of. More specifically, he has been dreaming of a riddle encountered 450 years ago by a feisty princess known as Sadja. You then play out the role of Sadja and Geron, in vastly different times in Andergast, and you'll unravel more of the interlinking story, with plenty of twists and turns before it all comes together at the end.
So, a first notable difference to most point and click adventures is the notion of two protagonists. Now the first reaction - and certainly mine too when I saw a point and click game with multiple characters across differing timelines - was this would present plenty of cause and effect puzzles, similar to those found in the aforementioned Day of The Tentacle, but Memoria works slightly differently. A lot of Sadja's sections serve to flesh out a past that has already happened to her, educating both the player and Geron into this relevant past. This presents the player with plenty of diverse landscapes - and therefore puzzle opportunities - to explore, be it either in Sadja's adventurous past, or Geron's urgent and problematic present.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PS3 (reviewed) | PS Vita (cross-play)
Developers: Derek Yu
Spelunky. A lovely, cutesy title for a game, that. When I first heard it, it conjured up images of a fun-filled frolic in some long-forgotten mine in search of unknown riches and treasure. It would be an adventure that could be enjoyed by all the family, due to its charm and accessibility. This feeling rings true even upon loading the game, as you’re greeted by the loveable protagonist, this is a game that is going to leave you all warm and fuzzy inside. This feeling lasts for about 20 seconds of playtime, until you realize the true reason for the game’s name. It is a made-up word, one that you might scream in anger to save your blushes from your family and friends when you die for the umpteenth time. SPELUNKY!
The difficulty of the game is born from its simplistic, retro design and gameplay. You control an unnamed spelunker who traverses a variety of levels in search of untold treasure. Each level is a 2D area, of which you will start at the top, with the exit to the level down at the bottom. Sounds a pretty simple premise, and it is. Along your way to the exit you’ll encounter a variety of monsters hell bent on stopping you from your treasure-hunting glory. In true old-school platforming fashion the majority of these monsters can be dealt with by a swift jump on their noggins. Alternatively our hero is also armed with a whip which can damage and dispatch nearby enemies.
As if roaming monsters weren’t enough for you to contend with, each area will also have various traps vying for your health. Anything from good old fashioned spikes, to lava and acid threaten to upset your expedition. Add to this the fact that your character starts off with just 4 hearts of health, with few chances to increase your health, and many opportunities to lose them, and a likelihood of death and a game over looms large. Yep, that’s right, with no hearts left you have to start the game again from scratch – there are no continues.Click here to read more...