AIPD is a top-down twin-stick shooter with tron inspired neon visuals as you aim kill the artificial intelligence enemies and get high scores across different modes and difficulties.
There are 5 modes to choose from: standard mode which increases in difficulty with every round, “tough transporters” where super weapon transporters are fully upgraded, “hostile space” where environmental dangers are all present, “high-tech armada” which has enemies start with all abilities and finally a “design” mode where you can customise your rule set and gain a higher starting multiplier bonus.
The player can choose from 6 different weapons (gatling, shotgun etc) so they can pick the weapon that suits their play style and can also give you a boost in co-op as you can have a good variety of weapons across your friends and there are also 6 modifications to choose from which have different benefits (and limitations) around various aspects of your ship like the shields and weapon cooling.
Baseball Riot by Crimsonland developer 10ton Ltd is the follow-up to Tennis in the Face and is a humorous physics based puzzle game which is out now on Xbox One, Windows (10/mobile), Apple TV, iOS and will be launching on PS4 and PSVita in January.
The game has a simple premise, you play as former baseball player Gabe Carpaccio who is on a quest to destroy the evil Explodz Inc corporation who produces energy drinks, you travel through the US defeating a number of goons who have been corrupts by Explodz Inc including opposition fans, catcher, umpires and more.
To progress on each level you need to knockout all the enemies and you can collect up three stars along the way, to complete a level you must knockout the players but you don’t need to collect all the stars, the challenge is bouncing the ball to knockout the goons and collect the stars in the 3 balls given. The puzzles are nice, relying on bouncing off walls and objects which avoiding hazards like glass to hit enemies and finish the levels, collecting all 3 stars is preferably to help you progress to the next region. (more…)
Divinity Original Sin was originally a Kickstarter project by Larian Studios which was funded and released in 2014, it’s the 5th game in the Divinity franchise but is a prequel to the original which released in 2002 on PC called “Divine Divinity”.
It’s primarily an RPG franchise which has generated a positive reception among gamers and has done well to constantly evolved over the last 13 years, Original Sin is an isometric turn-based game with old school roots whilst looking modern and including features like co-op.
The Enhanced Edition represents Larian completing their vision for the game after the huge success of the Kickstarter with fully voiced characters, a new UI, controller support, new content including quests and characters, reworked story with a new ending and reworked visuals and sounds, this is a proper improved version of the base game which was enjoyed by so many on PC.
With the Enhanced Edition on Xbox One being my first exposure to playing the game I wasn’t sure what to expect but immediately I was impressed by the sharp visuals and art-style which makes the game look great, it has plenty of detail with nice effects and that straight away stood out for me. A great art-style is always welcome and it really shows here, outside of that the game runs well without any drops in frame-rate (that I noticed) and only very minor tearing when viewing the map. (more…)
Crimson land is a top down dual-stick shooter from developer 10tons Ltd who more recently released Sparkle Unleashed however Crimsonland was the first game they developed back in 2003 and this version is based on the 2014 remaster released across Steam, Playstation 3, 4, Vita, iOS and Windows Phone!
It’s a game about a guy and his guns, thirty different guns with lots of variety to suit players and situations as well as and fifty-five perks which are used to aid you as well and can turn a situation on its head very handily when things get tricky as well as a variety of power ups. You use a vast array of weaponry to blast through all manner of enemies including spiders, aliens and lizards which is very fun and satisfying if you like the genre.
Extreme Exorcism is a pixel-art paranormal platformer where you fight against yourself set in a haunted house. Its based on an interesting concept – playing against your own ghosts and killing them to get high scores in different modes, it’s the fourth game by developer Golden Ruby Games and published by Ripstone who have also released the likes of Pure Pool, Stick it to The Man and Pure Hold ’em.
It was something I wasn’t really sure how well it was going to work, taking ghosts in racing games (and others) to the next level in a more literal way and it works really well. The first enemy is a paranormal chair which doesn’t attack you so that the game can get your first ghost ready then every time you complete a round your ghosts come back and follow your exact same movement and attacking pattern which once it gets going turns into a frantic solo or multiplayer game as more ghosts come on-screen. (more…)
Leo’s Fortune from Tilting Point is a critically acclaimed platform adventure game making its way from mobile to Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC in 1080p and follows the story of Leo who is hunting down the thief that stole his gold.
In this remastered version it has 24 levels across 5 chapters – 4 levels per chapter plus an unlockable bonus level which you need to collect some shiny gold gears for and a hardcore difficulty mode where you get 1 life for the entire game, with the aim to complete all the levels without dying once. As each level is only a few minutes long this isn’t perhaps the challenge it might seem like but it will still take some mastering to manage it.
ZombiU as it was known in 2012 is a first-person survival horror game, a WiiU exclusive launch title from Ubisoft Montpellier that made extensive use of the gamepad for inventory management and scanning purposes as well as a multiplayer mode, the latter of which was cut for this renamed and retooled version “Zombi”.
So what has changed? As I said the Game Pad integration is gone instead pressing back on the controller makes the character kneel and open his back pack up so you can see if you’re being (or about to be) attacked by a zombie, the map is now displayed on the bottom right hand corner of the screen, holding left bumper brings up the prepper pad which scans environments, field of view increased, general movement and control improvements and finally two new mêlée weapons, a shovel which has a longer reach and a nail bat, both of which also do more damage than the standard cricket bat.
Quest of Dungeons by Upfall Studios is turn-based rogue like dungeon crawler in which a dark lord has stolen the light and your job is to defeat him choosing from 5 characters with different classes and abilities, releasing on Xbox One and previously launched on PC, iOS and Android.
It is an addictive and very fun game which requires some tactical movement and decision-making is perfect for long or short sessions. It’s really easy to get into and lose time on, I found myself getting attached to my character because of the permadeath and being one wrong turn away from starting again.
Spanish developer A Crowd of Monsters releases their second Xbox One title (also available on PC) following the release of Funk of Titans back in January and the two couldn’t be anymore different. Moving away from the bright light-hearted tone of Funk of Titans is the complete polar opposite Blues and Bullets, an episodic noir fiction style investigation game about a retired police officer who runs a diner being dragged out of retirement to investigate the case of a missing child.
For this review as its episodic I’ll give an overview of the gameplay mechanics based on the first episode which I doubt will change much then talk about each specific episode as they release, without spoilers! When a new episode releases I’ll update this post.
The first thing you’ll notice is the distinctive look which is based on classic American comics and noir fiction and it looks great with splashes of red and other colours too. It’s an impressively styled game that I think was a very good choice and represents this dark and corrupt city of Santa Esperanza you’re getting into very well. When I call it a dark and corrupt city [no spoilers], in Episode 1 this becomes clear quite quickly with what to expect from the game going forwards. (more…)
Submerged is a third-person combat-free exploration game set in a mysterious open world flooded city, made by Australian studio Uppercut Games, whose earlier work included the Bioshock franchise for 2k and the Epoch franchise on mobile. You control a girl called Miku, who has brought her injured brother to the city with the hope of patching him up and leaving for pastures new.
You arrive in a small fishing boat which you explore the city by sailing around in, collecting rudder upgrades, hidden objects, landmarks, wildlife and for the story progression, supply drops which are around hotel roofs, collecting these will help you get your brother back to full health. (more…)
Made by developer “The Astronauts” formerly of People Can Fly (Bulletstorm), The Vanishing of Ethan Carter prides itself on no hand holding, tutorials or action segments instead focusing on first-person exploration with a horror vibe, super natural elements and puzzle solving on occasion.
The protagonist is detective Paul Prospero who has come to Red Creek Valley after being summoned by a kid called Ethan Carter to investigate the strange going ons in the area. Paul has super natural abilities, as he finds clues and evidence he is able to visualise what happened in the form of flashbacks.
These flashbacks are triggered by finding certain events, very early on you find a train carriage, a persons legs and soon after a body by investing the carriage you find an item is missing and a vision appears that gives you an idea of where the item is. Once you find and return the item it to where it should be and moved the train, going over to the dead body and interacting with it will spawn some memories which you have to organise in the correct chronological order, once you’ve done that the scene will play and show you what happened.
Alongside the exploration this puzzle solving is a core part of the game that’s fun and interesting, it promotes exploring and once you get going in the game and know what you’re doing it flowed well between sections. (more…)
The Fall is a 2D sci-fi puzzle-solving action game set on what appears to be an abandoned space station of some sort, it looks like The Swapper which came to Xbox One recently although The Fall balances up the “puzzles” with more action scenes, giving you control of a weapon and its more about exploring the environments and connecting the dots between the different moments using your items to progress and not being a heavy puzzle focused title.
You play as ARID, an artificial intelligence which has been activated by your crash landing on this unknown place somewhere in space. The landing has left your suits functions impaired and you must get to a medical bay to help the injured human inside your suit.
From Riptide GP2 developer Vector Unit comes Beach Buggy Racing a free-to-play mobile game brought to consoles as a premium product, stripping out all the free-to-play aspects, rebalancing the game, adding more content and other features such as split-screen multiplayer for $10 on Xbox One and Playstation 4.
My only concerns were how its economy would transition to console and I’m very pleased to report that Vector Unit have done a fine job on that aspect, the economy is fair with players needing to complete levels to earn money and upgrade their buggies, you can’t really see its mobile roots at all, that is how well its been handled [I should note here there are no micro transactions here at all]. Racing, namely winning races earns decent payouts over a large career mode consisting of 9 events across different HP engines which requires you to upgrade your vehicles to keep progressing has no excessive grinding or anything else to get the best out of it. (more…)
The Swapper by Finnish developer Facepalm Games is an atmospheric puzzle game set deep in space, originally released in May 2013 on Steam, in August 2014 on Playstation 4, Playstation 3 and PSVita and now in June 2015 it finally comes to Xbox One!
As you land on a seemingly abandoned space station you soon find a mysterious device called “The Swapper” which allows the user to create clones of themselves (up to 4) and swap themselves between these clones and by using both of these different types of abilities you can fully explore the station. Game progress comes in the form of orbs, you get to certain doors and it will tell you how many orbs you need to collect to pass through.
Sparkle Unleashed by Finnish developer 10tons brings the classic match 3 orb game as seen in other titles such as Zuma and Luxor to Xbox One and Playstation 4 with a 108 level campaign mode, multiple difficulties and a survival mode too.
The campaign as I mentioned has 108 levels and the difficulty increases as you go through with the first bunch containing just regular orbs and as you progress it adds up to two layers of chains to some orbs, more colours (black/purple) and also the rock orbs which require breaking other orbs around them to destroy.
As well as the differences in orbs the levels also scale up in difficulty by increasing the speed of the orbs as they go around the track, adding in a second track which means you keep an eye on both and more twisting levels which are more difficult to fire at. There is some repetition in the levels but I thought the many ways in which the gameplay was mixed up meant that levels were rarely same even if the background itself was so its not a problem. (more…)