When Steam was down this morning I was like “I’ll just dump a bunch of reviews on GX” but then I realized I couldn’t view my Steam reviews if Steam was down… D’oh!
But here we are. Backlog continues to get torn up this lovely year of 2016 and I’ve neglected sharing reviews here so here’s a random handful. Might even sneak a negative one in for the first time here. Oh my! Screenshots will be hit and miss, I just switched to using ReLive instead of Steam screenshots so some games got left out of the mix. All were posted on Steam originally blah bla blah…
The deeper you dive the more you’ll find.
Victor Vran is a unique take on the ARPG while still feeling “old”, comfortable and just how a ARPG should. The emphasis is definitely on the action as the builds and loot deceptively appear to be shallow. The main quest line is very approachable and beatable, especially if you take advantage of the co-op feature. There’s reviews on here of people beating it with friends in just a handful of hours. BUT there’s oh so much more to the game than those simple first glances and impressions. Everything gets much more depth the more you try to accomplish. If you set out to complete the 205 challenges and find the 116 secrets you will soon discover everything this game has to offer.
All sorts of fun features unlock as you level up. Special dungeons, an endless dungeon, more customization, PVP arena, etc. etc. A “transmutation” system makes upgrading items and melee/ranged weapons to your playing styles possible. The “destiny cards” allow you to build traits via a passives system. And the amount and strength of the cards you can use continues to grow well into the leveling up. Your “demon powers” and consumables will make your fingers fly around on the keyboard and mouse during the hardest of challenges. Plus there are difficulty modifiers called “hexes” that take things to yet another level. I will say that outfits are definitely lacking and just one piece. But they do control the way you power your demon powers (useful options to have depending on your other gear) and have some modifiers, color cosmetics, and the ability to be slightly upgraded in the later character levels. There’s just always something new around the corner! So much so that even I had to call it quits. I was not at all surprised to find out it doesn’t just end with those 205 challenges… I don’t got much left in me for all that, but I most definitely got what I wanted out of it all.
Victor Vran really does strike an amazing balance of approach-ability as well as depth. The amount of things to do for those wishing to jump off the deep end is staggering. And I’d argue really well done to keep things as fresh as possible in a genre known for the end-game grind. You can beat the game with a single weapon you like on the lowest difficulty over a weekend. Or you can take up the challenges that will require you to discover the depth of what you can do with character builds and get nearly close to 30hrs like me. Or you can go even further. Much much further. And all of it either by your lonesome or with a friend(s). Throw in steep sales and bundles and my goodness is this a bargain.
Looks good, sounds great, controls great (WASD/mouse, mouse movement, or gamepad), and you get out what you put in. Couldn’t really ask for much more. I very highly recommend checking it out if you want a ARPG for your next gaming adventure!
Bonus Chicken Cannon pic;
Quite clunky at times but a solid first person shooter experience.
Its easy to understand why this game has the following it does. The story and setting are solid and the good visuals really push those points over the top. The atmosphere is superb. With a heavy emphasis on ammunition conservation the gunplay can be unique and fun as well. No “run and gun” or “spray and pray” here. You’ll want to make your shots count. The level design is worth noting as well. There are moments that rival a trip to the original Black Mesa Research Facility in fun. It was a clear inspiration from a level design standpoint. Which is neat and I applaud most of what they pulled off.
Where the game floundered for me was some clunky parts. The level design comes crashing down during some parts. Examples include escort sections or a random section of platforming. There are other short moments they fail to convey your goal or purpose as well. A partner will scream for you to run and not stop but you have to stop incrementally. Or other times you’ll dump precious ammo into a scripted sequence enemy that you’re just suppose to watch or run from. Little things like that. The AI isn’t inherently bad, but again I go to the word clunky. Both enemy and comrades’ AI is very lacking at times. Monsters will run at you and flail for a melee attack and its kind of a guessing game as to if they’re going to register a hit. Animations during attack sequences will often result in gliding and/or clipping of NPCs. And I ran into two bugs that got me “stuck” and required a quick web search to find the solutions. Both were more or less inexcusable in my opinion despite the simple “fixes”. All this and some technical problems over the years gave me troubles to the point that this was my fourth attempt at trying to beat the game. I always wanted to though. It was worth it and satisfying to conquer without a doubt.
Worth a whirl for sure. Although, I cannot compare it versus the “Redux” version. But “Redux” does exist so it may be the better route. I think it would be worth researching the gameplay fixes (if any) they made over any superficial upgrades because this game does need a lot of polishing. People tend to gloss over the issues with this one when praising it. Either way, bargains always abound and if you’re interested in a more methodical shooter with a great atmosphere Metro 2033 is very much worth playing!
Best enjoyed in local versus mode despite its lack of a “shared/splitscreen” official Steam tag.
Nidhogg is a simple concept; You kill your opponent? You get to move forward progressing level screens. He kills you? He gets to move forward. First one to reach the end screen their designated direction wins. This makes for a great tug of war, insane comebacks, and thrilling grudge matches. They tried to give the combat some nuance with the ability to hold your fencing sword at three heights (plus throw) but like any basic player vs player combat it comes down to timing more than anything. All the technique in the world isn’t gonna stop somebody from timing the perfect roll or jump to run right past you. And that’s where the game gets interesting. Besides the beginning stalemate for the first kill, combat only hangs on the “defender”. Once you get your kill and control the ability to press forward, that’s what your focus is on. Many times its better to just get past your opponent and continue your run rather than engage. It really levels the playing field and makes it fairly easy for anybody to pick up and enjoy. Then you toss in four levels with decent variety and things stay interesting enough for a competitive sitdown.
With the advent of in-home streaming, HTPC’s, etc. Nidhogg finds a comfortable home in the living room to get the competitive juices flowing with friends and family on the “bigscreen”. I’m a fan of local shared/split-screen games on the PC that are done well. And while utterly basic and simple (and thus probably overpriced) this delivers pure fun. Wait for a sale, but if you like making temporary enemies with friends on the couch, this is good stuff. Recommended.
A simple little twin stick shooter that feels at home with keyboard and mouse.
Don’t let labels fool you though. This game is more of a liquid physics and environmental puzzle game than “shooter”. Liquids include water, lava, and slime/sludge. There’s certain rock, smoke, and ice that come into play as well. They all interact predictably. Sometimes your ship gets certain upgrades on certain levels to deal with these obstacles as well. And yes, you will be shooting some baddies along the way too. You’re objective is to get by these puzzles and baddies to save seven lost fellers every screen (panning). Five screens make up a stage. Five stages make up a level. Three levels make up the game.
Its short and simple but complete and fun. It made for a couple afternoons of interest. I more than took my time and went for the 100% and got a solid 7hrs out of it. I imagine just blitzing the game you could beat it in under 3hrs. Perfect little bundle game which is where I got it somewhere along the way.
Never hectic or overly hard, but satisfying to complete, I’d recommend it at a bargain.
*Rose-tinted glasses not included.
I remember as a kid going to local Toys r Us toy store and playing the SEGA Saturn demo kiosk for what seemed liked hours. It was either the pitter patter of Sonic R or the mystical trance of NiGHTS. Those days, those times, that dumb young me? Amazing and hypnotizing stuff that has it’s place in game design history. But ol’ Father Time did a number on my whimsical memories of the game. While the port is plenty fine technically the game just isn’t all its been built up as these past decades. Sometimes cult classics are best left as fond memories. I was happy to have the chance to revisit the game from my past but it simply wasn’t a rewarding or fun experience. The game boils down to spamming the A button for 90% of regular levels. The boss battles bring something to the table at least. But aren’t very intuitive if you’ve never played games from the past or grew up on them. I just didn’t find it fun and I more or less beat the game out of spite which was mercifully a mere 2.4hrs (only challenge left after the story would be ‘A’ ranks on each level). Sure its nice to finally say 20 some odd years later that I did beat it, but I kind of wish I never came back and still had those rose-tinted glasses on with the fond memories.
Which all makes me hesitate to even recommend it to fans of the game. And I really can’t recommend this game to somebody who would need to be scouring the reviews for information on the game. The price is right if you’re feeling frisky. No recommendation here though.
Mindless satisfying fun.
Its hard to review a game seriously that doesn’t take itself so. But there’s a solid and fun game here with a great presentation. Broforce is an intense patriotic (USA) fueled side scrolling shoot’em up with heavy influences and inspiration from over the top American action films. Each character or “bro” you get to play is a caricature of a hero of a film. RamBRO, BRO Dredd, BRO in Black, BROnan the BRObarian, etc etc. Each one is unique in their standard and special attacks and some even have some extra abilities. This variety keeps things interesting during this hectic shooter. You’ll be fighting everything from terrorists to aliens to the undead. And all while dealing with the fully destructable tiled environment. Gaps, explosives, and falling stones will spell your doom just as much as the enemies firing at you. The campaign mode made for a great 5.4hrs of massacring fun. And there is other difficulties, arcade mode, and co-op/multiplayer compliments to all of it. Sprinkle in some level editing with Steam Workshop support and there’s really something you can dive into here if you were so inclined.
Just with the fun of unlocking the bros and the campaign alone I think I got my money’s worth. I’d still recommend a sale or bundle as its a safe game to place on the wait list. But while not a must play, its well worth it when you do. Fun and funny. Recommended BRO!