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Average User Score: 7.4Sep 3, 2018Being a huge tactical rpg and roguelike fan I wasn’t sure what to expect after the months of hype around this game. With it’s surprise dropBeing a huge tactical rpg and roguelike fan I wasn’t sure what to expect after the months of hype around this game. With it’s surprise drop last Tuesday during the Nintendo direct.
Let’s see if this mech vs bug battle, truly lives up to the hype.
Taking place in the future, you are commanding a three mech team trying to clear a group of islands of deadly overgrown creatures known as Veks. Beginning at one of four islands with a number of procedurally generated regions that you must recapture from the gigantic creepy crawlies. Each region is an isometric grid with buildings used to maintain your power grid and varying per level objectives, such as defend the power plant or kill 7 Veks. These objectives aren’t required but give you additional power or reputation points if you can complete them.
These reputations points can be spent between islands to purchase different weapons or upgrades for your mechs, adding some tools to your repertoire to make you that much more of a formidable foe.
Keeping the Vek away from your buildings can prove quite the challenging task as they will spawn from the ground every turn, when they do get destroyed it feels devastating as civilians die from your wrong decision. When actually getting a game over, you lose your progression but can keep one pilot for your next run, so if that pilots level up a bit you come into the next game with a little bit of an advantage.
As you progress through the game you unlock new islands, which once unlocked can be played through in any order and scale difficulty depending how many islands have been defeated beforehand. As you defeat more islands or special objectives you earn coins which unlock new TROOPS of mechs for your to command. Each class being very different, really forcing you to learn and adapt in this brutal environment and I mean brutal.
In the beginning of Into the Breach be prepared to die and die ALOT. Getting a solid understanding of this game will only come with many deaths, even as a seasoned tactical rpg player I have had my butt handed to me unexpectedly on many occasions. The moment you let your guard down be prepared to lose power, your mechs, and even your life.
Some of the decisions that i’ve made during a run of into the breach have taken so much time and thought that I’ve often caught myself just staring at my screen for ten minute periods of time. Weighing each option greatly as the consequences will affect you as such. If you carelessly make your decisions your run will be over before you know it. However, if you take your time and strategically chip away at the Vek, before you know you’ll be onto your next island and one step closer to your goal.
As there are alot of different systems at work with Into the Breach it will take you some time before everything clicks. Each enemy has a different abilities, attack orders, and passive effects; when taken advantage of properly you can have enemies taking each other out. For you to truly succeed at this game you must understand what’s really important in each level. Yes it would be great to keep all of your mechs at full health, but as long as they survive, keeping your cities intact is really what counts. As you can sometimes get overwhelmed it’s important to keep a level head, take your time, and keep your eye are the goal. I’ve sometimes reminded myself of an old man staring at a chess board, the way I stop and strategize with this game.
The game runs great on handheld and in docked, getting around 5 hours of battery life in handheld. However, using the joy con joy sticks I found the pointer would occasionally continue traveling when I released the joy stick, causing attacks to execute on the wrong space; and when the stakes are this high that can be quite disheartening.
Into the Breach is a fantastic experience with life or death decision making that will have you on the edge of your seat as it unfolds. While this game is not for the faint of heart, those whom are willing to invest the time will be rewarded greatly for that effort. With fantastic gameplay, rewarding progression, and emotionally impactful decision making I can happily recommend this roguelike tactical rpg to any fan of the genre.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.9Jun 26, 2018Get ready for another grindy JRPG!
With the wind in your hair and the horizon in the distance Adol is aboard a passenger vessel at sea, whileGet ready for another grindy JRPG!
With the wind in your hair and the horizon in the distance Adol is aboard a passenger vessel at sea, while proclaiming himself an adventurer he is working as a hired hand doing whatever the Captain requires. Beginning you tasks with patrolling as security during a dinner party, the ship is attacked by a huge kraken when Adol is tossed a sword and is thrown into battle. While he is able to fend off the beast for just enough time for you to learn the basic mechanics of combat, the ship is sunk and you find yourself stranded on a legendary island known for explorers not returning from it.
Quickly you realize that you are not alone on this island, you find a rusty sword and must defend yourself from the thousands of beasts that cover the island like sea salt. Soon you find Laxi and she joins you on your adventure, shortly followed by the Captain who sets you on the quest to map the entire island looking for more survivors from the shipwreck.
On your adventure to find more survivors they will join your team and pressing the Y button during combat allows you to rotate between characters on the fly. Each character having a different color based skill set, where certain classed character will cause more damage to certain enemies. The difference is incredibly noticeable as attacking a green classed enemy with Adol is a red class will take you two to three times longer to defeat, than fighting with Laxia who is green class.
Basic combat in YsVIII feels surprisingly good, as soon as I began running and jumping around the ship I was taken aback by the very responsive movement, jumping, and dodge-rolls. This feeling continued as I ventured further into the game. After locking onto your target you attack with A for short combos or hold down A to execute a more powerful attack. Then you have skills that you learn as you level up that you map to four slots connected to each face button while holding down the R button, these are all used to charge up ultimate attacks that will come in incredibly handy when encountering difficult boss fights. Which happen a lot more often than this cute anime 3d art-style would suggest and are welcome moments of strategy and challenge.
As you find more survivors from the shipwreck they become a part of your settlement and how fortunate for you that they all have skill sets that you are in need of. Finding a blacksmith, seamstress, and many others soon has your town becoming more robust allowing you to upgrade all of your gear. Which is very rewarding as you have to using crafting items that you find when out exploring. Along with upgrading your gear, metroidvania style skill upgrades allow you to unlock new sections of the map that you were previously unable to travel to.
Passing loads of green vines leading upward, at first is a huge environmental road block until you eventually get a pair of gloves that allows you to traverse them with ease. As you will travel through each area many many times grinding your way up in level, it’s great to have these areas that allow some new discoveries even though you’ve searched them many times before. As you work your way through, each little section of the map is broken up into loading points and the enemies respawn if you reenter a cleared area, which is great to level up your squad but can cause a frustrating challenge when your a lost on your way to an objective, which will certainly happen a lot. Certain environments can be quite the maze when slashing your way through, like the dungeons, which are the only areas in the game that your health doesn’t regenerate when you stand still, which raises the stakes quite a bit when retracing your path through dangerous monsters your third time in a row.
I did want to add that while I have heard when originally launching in the states the dialogue localization was a bit rough, but has been fixed and I had no issues in my playthrough. Also when starting the game you do have a lot of DLC available, which is mostly just cosmetic and switching through costumes during gameplay is a nice way to feel fresh while grinding.
YsVIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a great experience that should appeal to more than the average action jrpg fan. Yes the story and conversations between characters feels quite cliche and at times you just want to fast forward through the drawn out dialogue, which is an option, but it makes up for it the moment that you hit the ground running. Everything from the special moves, to dodging, jumping, blocking, and climbing feels so fantastic to execute that the hours upon hours you spend slicing through monsters does not get old. With rewarding RPG progression and base building, a weak story and yes very lengthy cutscenes, but amazing combat I can happily say yes to this island adventure.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Jun 18, 2018Only a madman would look at a group of deadly praying mantis enemies as an opportunity, but after becoming a seasoned hollow knight that'sOnly a madman would look at a group of deadly praying mantis enemies as an opportunity, but after becoming a seasoned hollow knight that's exactly what you'll see.
I’m The Flannel Fox Tim Swiernik and I reviewed Hollow Knight on the Nintendo Switch
Beginning in Dirtmouth a small village above the Hallownest’s Ruins with nothing but your trusty nail by your side your adventure begins. With a blind leap into the ruins of an abandoned world.
In the beginning of the game you can only jump, melee attack with your nail, and regain health with your soul. As you defeat enemies you gain soul, when you hold down the A button Hollow Knight can charge back health.
This simple health recharge mechanic is so potent that it forces you to take risks in order to continue. Where in a normal game if you are low on health, you would turn around and go looking for some or return to your closest regen point. However, in Hollow Knight you are drawn to battle, with one hit left in your health if you pull off the perfect attacks you can be back to full health in no time at all. There are so many moments, where you will assess the situation, pause for a moment, then run into battle knowing that one hit could be your last.
Hollow Knight is a 2d metroidvania and one of the so called souls-like games, referring to the awesomely brutal gameplay in From Software’s Darksouls, Demonsouls, and Bloodborn. This shows itself in the many different systems in Hollow Night. For example while on your journey you are collecting geo, the games’ currency, if you die your geo is gone until you find your Shade, after defeat it to regain all that you have earned.
Another reason this is a souls-like, is the brutally different encounters with npcs among the world. When exploring this beautifully grim environment, I try to be careful when moving into a new area as death is lurking around every single corner. When faced with a difficult foe you must learn their attack patterns, which can often take multiple lives doing so, in order to come out on top. Forcing you to get good and to get good fast, it’s so rewarding defeating a boss that kills you so many times, but even more rewarding to encounter that enemy again later in game, and conquering them with ease. Not because you’ve leveled up or gotten a new weapon, which you do not do in this game, but because you have gotten better as a player.
Being a 2d metroidvania, as you play through the game you unlock new abilities that grant you access do different parts of the map. This being my first playthrough of the game, I truly knew nothing about it and did not know which mechanics were going to be introduced. That being said it took me about five hours to stumble upon the wall slide/wall jump, which was thrilling. One of my favorite 2d mechanics after playing super meat boy, this turned a game with incredibly challenging combat, into a cleverly difficult 2d platformer. Dashing and wall jumping through thorn covered areas, gave me a huge grin on my face almost immediately, and waiting this long into the game to introduce it made the reveal all worth the wait. Travelling back to an area in the beginning of a game that you remember specifically when you saw it the first time, then having that lightbulb moment when you get the perfect ability to now go there, is one of the best feelings in gaming and it will never gets old.
Each area of the map is broken up into little sections or worlds, but in order to view them on your map you must purchase that area’s map from Cornifier the Cartographer. Not knowing where to find him multiple times in new ares was getting quite frustrating until you begin to hear some faint humming, then you see his papers on the ground, letting you know that he’s close and you find him to purchase that areas map.
Along with having to purchase a map, you have to purchase the ability to locate yourself on the map, as well as fast travel points, resting benches, and basically everything that is on a normal map. Not being a big fan of this as spending my hard earned Geo to be able to see blue cocoons on my map, felt like a waste of my money.
Hollow Knight is an amazing 2d metroidvania and a challenging platformer, will fantastically brutal combat that certainly scratches that souls like itch. Just as often as I would stumble into a deadly boss battle, I would be rewarded with amazing moments of discovery, accomplishment, and victory. I can solidly recommend this game to any Switcher who is up for a great challenge.… Expand
Average User Score: tbdJun 6, 2018So many games that I have reviewed and that we all have played fit the video game mold. Beat level one, to get to level two, collectSo many games that I have reviewed and that we all have played fit the video game mold. Beat level one, to get to level two, collect one-hundred coins in order to get an extra life, or beat this boss to unlock a new upgrade. Objectives, quests, upgrades, and unlocks give you a list of things to complete in order to receive a reward. Which is fantastic...but sometimes a game comes along that allows you to experience something completely different.
I’m the Flannel Fox Tim Swiernik and I reviewed Shape of the World.
When first downloading Shape of the World I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and honestly was not very excited. Being the epitome of the objective gamer myself, walking simulators rarely do it for me. So with my long train ride ahead of me I plugged in my headphones and began playing.
Starting in a dream like, brightly lit area, I wasn’t sure if the game had finished loading or if I was now in control. So I began to move my joysticks and feeling a bit clunky at first, started to explore this hazy environment. As you walk around, the outline of an upside down V appears and lures you toward it, drawing you like a moth to a flame.
On my way towards the floating V, some glowing rock-like formations grow out of the ground, along with a control prompt showing you that the right trigger allows you to interact with the environment. Touching all of the stones triggers a fantastic sound that you will end up longing for throughout your journey in Shape of the World,
Little stairs form a path for you to venture down toward the sky shape and immediately when you get on the sky stairs your speed increases greatly and you zoomed to the next area.
Eventually reaching the shape in the sky, you walk through it and POOF,
Everything changes. Color schemes flip, new environments burst from the ground, and a new sky shape will be leading you in a new direction.
From there you continue your journey from shape to shape, working your way through this mystical environment.
Along with the right trigger allowing you interact with things, the B button jumps, and the left trigger allows you to throw seeds. When you throw seeds, trees grow instantly, and with an endless supply of seeds you can add a cluster of trees whenever you please. Along with making this wacky world a more beautiful place, they help you move around quickly. If you interact with a tree, it destroys the tree, but dashes you forward and plays a note. So dashing through trees in rapid succession plays a little tune for you and don’t feel too bad about dashing through the trees as the environments are procedurally generated and each time that you walk back through them they will generate in a different way.
Along with having an endless amount of seeds to toss, you don’t take any damage, and there are no real objectives. It’s a seamless experience that I had to stop thinking about and just experience, as it’s quite intuitive you will eventually end up where you are supposed to be. You do run across little alien vegetable-like pick ups around the world that don’t do anything but fill up a catalog on the pause screen. It felt nice after munching through a new veggie to check my pause screen catalogue and see another item in my repertoire, but these are by no means necessary to complete the campaign.
Sights and sounds
While a lot of 3d indies employ the low poly vivid color artstyle like Morphite and Mulaka, Shape of the World feels very special to witness throughout your journey. With every new environmental change the colors shift dramatically, switching from a dark underground cave to a vividly uplifting mountain top in the snap of a finger, creates a specific feeling for each of the worlds that you explore. Switching between schemes so many times that I found myself feeling nostalgic for certain areas in the game, that really struck a chord with me.
The transitions between environments along with the unique mechanics of the game are elevated with the fantastic sound design. From the interaction with huge glowing pillars, to the steps that let you know before you even see them, that you will soon be gliding through the air toward something new. A specific moment when you are trudging up a mountain in the pouring rain then the colors change, the rain clears, made me want to take a deep breathe and feel the cool mountain air glide over my skin.
Standing on an undulating staircase miles about the ground, watching mountains in the distance build themselves, while whales fly passed me in the sky is simply breathtaking. Shape of the World is an amazing experience from beginning to end, without any traditional narrative, I remember my journey like a story that I cannot put into words, but a chain of different feelings with a fantastic ending. Honestly, everyone should experience what Shape of the World has to offer for themself.
Be sure to watch my video review at my YouTube channel TheFlannelFox… Expand
Average User Score: tbdMay 29, 2018In the land of the Vikings a enemy ridden portal has opened and The Great old one is trying to take over the world. It is the job of theIn the land of the Vikings a enemy ridden portal has opened and The Great old one is trying to take over the world. It is the job of the Valkyries and Vikings to stop this terrible foe.
Yes, the story of Die For Valhalla is a brief one but plays on Norse mythology. In which, Valhalla is where the vikings long to go to after death, a majestic enormous hall, ruled by Odin, you know Thor’s dad; and the Valkyries or in Old Norse “choosers of the slain”, choose those who survive battle and those who do not.
Die for Valhalla is a 2d side scrolling beat em up rpg. Where you play as a valkyrie, who can possess different vikings to fight as, allowing them to take the damage instead of yourself. Working your way through the levels, destroying the different enemies that each world throws at you. While playing as each viking, at any point in time, you can choose to leave that viking’s body causing them to die and you return to your spirit state. From there you can either fight as the Valkyrie or inhabit another viking, but make your choice quickly because while vikings can die one after the other. The players life depends on that of the Valkyrie. From possession to possession, if she gets hit one too many times and dies your turn is over. Which if you choose hardcore mode instead of normal mode at the beginning, which is a roguelite experience, you’ll begin from square one, which all of that Valkyrie’s skills taken away.
While not dying as the Valkyrie is important, so is dying as the vikings. As the title may suggest, these vikings will die and die alot. Levels littered with tombstones are jumping off points to spawn a new warrior. If you are fighting with a sword and shield, but an archer or mage would work better against this particular enemy, leave that old body behind and upgrade to a ranged attack. As each different combat class is very different, each has advantages and disadvantages over certain foes.
While each character has the same combo pattern, each enemies attacks are different. Comboing with your berserker will leave your enemy stunned on the ground, while the archer will increase the number of arrows shot as you work your way throw the combo, ending with a magical high damage arrow at the end. You do begin with only three vikings to play as and unlocking new characters takes a extremely long time.
Moving in all directions with your left joystick, you can also jump, dodge, parry, and block. Adding a bit more mechanics than the average beat em’ up game does give you a good base to work off of in the combat department. Although the jump is not as responsive as you would like, giving me great difficulty when trying to remove myself from a deadly situation.
Beginning in a world map where you select each level that you are going to play through, is incredibly hard to intuitively navigate. Yes you can move easily from circle to circle, but it’s hard to know exactly where you are going or what you are working toward. With a bunch of different objectives in the right hand corner of the map, I have no real clue where go to solve a specific quest.
When in the thick of gameplay almost every level feels the same, yes some minor scenery changes note your progression throughout the world, but that’s about it. An exploding barrel in one level, is an exploding mushroom in another level, and yes please defend another shrine. After hours and hours of smashing skulls and removing gigantic monster heads, I felt like I was forcing myself to continue playing looking for excitement that never came.
In the midst of your fallen enemy, they will drop XP pickups and once you obtain a certain amount of them you can upgrade your Valkyrie. Upgrading consists of acquiring one new perk and assigning 7 runes to your stats.
The perks vary from simple upgrades that increase an individual stat by a large amount, to increasing the speed at which you can possess a viking, or a personal favorite each third attack in a combo causes a bit of elemental damage. These enhancements are attached to each Valkyrie and every viking played by her will have these skills. Along with a perk choice you get 7 runes to pick which simply upgrade your stats attack, defense, health, and spirit, which is stamina. The rune selection is chained together when selecting which is a fun little puzzle to get a hang of.
Die For Valhalla is a great setup for a game that simply fails to deliver. Which a solid combat system, fun artstyle, and tons of bearded warriors to play as the early gameplay feels incredibly promising. Unfortunately, after you get a hang of the controls it is grindy and repetitive with no real feeling of progression or reward. While I looked up the plot of the story, you wouldn’t know it from the gameplay and you never feel it in the funny but aimless cut scenes. Be sure to watch my video review at YouTube channel TheFlannelFox… Expand
Average User Score: 7.6May 28, 2018Beginning in a museum touring the wizarding greats of the past, those who undertook the chaos trials, you are magically sucked into anotherBeginning in a museum touring the wizarding greats of the past, those who undertook the chaos trials, you are magically sucked into another world. Where you are a wizard competing to become a wizard of legend.
When first jumping into the chaos trials, be prepared to get obliterated time and time again. As Wizard of Legend is a rogue-like, keeping with the tropes of the genre it is incredibly difficult. Furthermore, the learning curve is especially steep. The tutorial section of the game, lightly walks you through your basic moves. A dash, basic attack, normal spells, and a heavy spell that you can access in battle once it has charged. However, using your spells on practice dummies is nothing like casting them in the throes of battle and the systems take quite some time to get a solid hang of.
Each level of the chaos trail is a different dungeon that you must crawl through defeating foes and leveling up. Separating them into elemental groups of three, fire, ice, and earth; with each element having two levels to complete before that element’s boss.
The dungeons are procedurally generated, so each round you aren’t sure what will be lurking around the next corner. Either a horde of deadly enemies just waiting to drain your health, a piñata challenge that could possibly reward you with a brand-new arcana spell, or a cage match where you accidentally dash your way into a fire pit.
Before jumping into each new play through, you choose which spells you will equip, along with a relic that will give you a unique ability. As the Wizard of Legend as a TON of spells and relics, playing through to try and find the perfect combination that works with your play style is tons of fun. Playing through each round earns you gems which you can use to buy new spells and relics, permanently. So that they can be chosen as one of your four starting aracana in the beginning of each round.
Arcana spells can vary from shooting cascading obsidian arrows, plowing through the enemies with a huge sword of fire, or using wind to launch your enemy into the air then smash them into the ground. From ranged weapons, to close quarters combat, and traps that you can set, all of the spells given to choose from can cater to the way that you prefer to play. Personally, I have been beginning with a spell that adds fire to my dash, a lighting spear that stuns my enemies, and diablo style chakram snowflakes that spiral around me causing damage as they do.
No matter the spells you choose they have to work well with your basic attacks as this will allow you to chain attacks together, which is how you deal large amounts of damage in Wizard of Legend. Not truly understanding this until my first boss fight, if you rely only on your spells than you will get your burnt butt handed to you.
However, if you wait for that right moment for your opponent to drop their guard, stun them from afar, fire dash through them, flurry basic attacks, spear them and flurry them again you’ll see the end goal coming a bit closer.
As you play through you find or buy new spells that are unique to whatever you come across in that run, which greatly increase your chances of success. Starting with four of your possible six spells, gives you some wiggle room to test new attacks and wean out the spells that you don’t find as useful.
The same for relics, as you only begin with one, you acquire more along your journey which changes your odds for better or for worse. Some relics can simply increase you lightning damage, while other more complex relics will increase all damage dealt but lower your defense greatly, or once of my particular favorites will give you tiny increases in health with almost every gem that you find.
Playing handheld most of my playtime, I have experienced a decent amount of frame rate issues although they haven’t hindered my gameplay experience.
Wizard of Legend is a very good roguelike with enough spells and relics to keep you mixing and matching until you find that perfect combination. The overall feel of the game plays very well and is worth the steep learning curve to get into your groove and bite into the real meat of the game. When dungeon crawling, even if you defeat the boss of the level first thing, you will still want to search the rest of the dungeon for possible upgrades to make you stronger overall. Which is risky, because you can die so easily, but that’s the gamble that you take.
While I like this game a lot, it is a difficult roguelike and if that does not sound appealing to you than I would give this one a pass
However if you are like me and can stand dying over and over until not only your character levels up, but you do as the player. Then strap on your wizarding cloak and getting ready for some magic.
**Be sure to watch my video review at YouTube channel TheFlannelFox… Expand
Average User Score: 5.0Apr 12, 2018Anyone who is a fan of my channel is well aware that I am a fan of roguelikes so I was very excited to sink my teeth into Bombslinger, whichAnyone who is a fan of my channel is well aware that I am a fan of roguelikes so I was very excited to sink my teeth into Bombslinger, which has just blasted it’s way onto the Nintendo Switch.
Playing as an ex bandit who has chosen to settle down on his ranch with his wife, only to have that ranch burned down by members of your late posse. Now you are on an explosive revenge mission to settle the score.
Beginning each new run on your destroyed ranch, you journey out into the world at first with only bombs in hand. Using these bombs to pulverize your enemies and to clear your path. This very simple formula doesn’t take long to learn, but does take a while to master. As different enemy types require very different maneuvers to defeat them without taking any damage. As you defeat stages you earn more XP and level up, each level gives you three random options to choose from strengthen each run. Choosing an extra bomb to drop, more health, quicker spirit regen, or a simple refill health all change the tide of battle greatly and if timed correctly can mean the difference between life and death. Going into a boss battle with only one heart, leveling mid boss fight, then refilling my health and coming out victorious goes to show you that strategy is just as important as perfectly executed gameplay in Bombslinger.
Opening crates, defeating enemies, or frequenting shops will unlock more items to make each run more unique. Picking up a special boot allowed me to dodge roll, a six shooter for some ranged retaliation, or camouflage for a scarecrow sneak attack kept this cowpoke on his toes. The more unlocks you rack up allow the biggest and baddest upgrade of all. You can begin each run with upgrades that you have unlocked, allowing you to start with more bombs, more health, or crazy cool unlocks like the ability to kick the bombs after you place them, adding an amazing level of gameplay to this potent puzzler. An upgrade that has been my mainstay ever since.
As you move through each level you collect cash from your fallen foes, this cash can be used to open random loot boxes throughout the world, or in the shop. When in the shop you can pick up some great weapons like a hatchet to throw or a shotgun, when in the thick of the game you can fire these ranged weapons which uses up your spirit, the blue little meter in the top left hand corner of the screen. Throughout my gameplay I didn’t find the ranged weapons to be that much fun, but they are very useful in certain situations i.e. boss fights.
Which I have to say are really incredible. Some bosses really getting you steamed up until you figure out that perfect strategy to blow them to smithereens. Just as any good boss fight should be...now when going head to head with that damn Ram, I know I will come out on top.
For such a simple looking game the world is very fleshed out. The ambient sounds do alot to ground you in the environment of the wild west and the simple yet incredibly well executed artstyle looks fantastic. I especially enjoyed the close up pixelated 3d animations and pre-boss battle cutscenes. As normally getting close up to a pixel game is a big mess, in Bombslinger it’s a big and nice surprise.
If you enjoy a tough roguelike like I do, then bombs away ladies and lads because this game is absolutely for you. In the world of indies, the retro roguelike explores some very interesting genres. From platformer, twin stick shooter, but this bomberman style gameplay which seems so simple at first, but becomes so incredibly complex as it layers up throughout the game. I have heard some criticism for this game being a little too punishing, starting back over when you die without any items you’ve earned, except for additional starting items, but thats the bread and butter of a great roguelike game.
Please be sure to watch my video review at my YouTube channel TheFlannelFox… Expand
Average User Score: 4.9Apr 11, 2018Playing as Otto, you are taking your exam to become a shaper, one who can manipulate the Anima to summon guardians. Your betrothed and MasterPlaying as Otto, you are taking your exam to become a shaper, one who can manipulate the Anima to summon guardians. Your betrothed and Master shaper Ana, is captured by the evil Zahr. Who splits her into three pieces, heart, mind, and body. Rendering her helpless and leaving Zahr to wreak havoc on the land of Spark unless Otto can save his fiance and the world.
Beginning the game with only one type of guardians, protectors, which essentially act like infantry. You give them orders of where to attack, while you can attack also, you do very little damage and the bulk of your damage will come from the guardians that you’ve summoned. Very quickly you have to learn the dance of getting your soldiers in to do damage when the have the opportunity and out as before they take to much of a beating from whichever golem they are fighting. Alerting you with pre-attack ques, gives you just enough time to recall your guardians so they don’t get pulverized. If they do go down in battle you will have to summon more, which can be a problem as you can only summon more guardians if you have collected enough Anima.
Anima is a fuel that your guardian summoning magic runs upon and making sure that you have enough of it in battle is absolutely crucial. If you carelessly allow all of your guardians to get killed and have exhausted the surrounding area of Anima, kiss that turn goodbye; because hacking away with honorable Otto is just not going to cut it.
As you play through the campaign you unlock different types of guardians that change the whole game, some ranged, others anima healers, some huge hulking beasts, they all inhabitat different areas. Keeping everyone out of the line of fire, while keeping enough in to keep doing damage, becomes an addictive plate spinning adventure. Recall some sentinels, summon new protectors, collect more anima, to summon even more sentinels, then strategically place them surrounding your enemy, all without taking damage. In you run in guardians blazing and without a plan, sad to say you will not prevail. Dying a number of times on earlier bosses trying to find a method in all of this madness, made me a better leader when going toe to toe with the enemy.
As enemies go, they feel very repetitive as they all are very similar. Few here and there making you strategize differently but overall they just add more enemies to increase the challenge. That being said the combat takes so much attention and focus that it’s still very satisfying despite feeling a bit grindy.
Spark is a mystical environment where a puzzle lies around every corner. Progressing to the next battle is a guardian involved environmental puzzle where combining all of their talents together leads you to success. Where some games do this quite poorly like Mario V Rabbids, scratching your head between fights is generally a lot of fun.
Playing from an isometric perspective visually the art style is very reminiscent of the diablo series, but could use a bit more visual variety but the game does play quite smooth in both docked and handheld mode.
After each level you earn skill points that you can use to level up Otto and each of his guardians and the perks really earn their keep. Varying from old favorites like doing more damage, to teleporting instantly when recalled, getting your guardians out of the danger zone immediately. Some playing into the masses of guardians summoned, you can have Otto’s attack damage grow by a percentage with every guardian summoned of a certain type, making Otto’s attacks actually do something worthwhile.
Masters of Anima is a great action adventure strategy game that any fan of the diablo series or diablo-esque games such as Nine Parchments are sure to enjoy. Despite the enemies and the artstyle feeling a bit repetitive, I truly enjoyed my time battling through this golem ridden world.
Be sure to watch my video review at YouTube channel TheFlannelFox… Expand
Average User Score: 3.4Mar 30, 2018Shadowbug is a 2d puzzle platformer without the ability to jump, instead as you play through levels you dash attack your enemies which allowsShadowbug is a 2d puzzle platformer without the ability to jump, instead as you play through levels you dash attack your enemies which allows you to move throughout the world. In some instances you can dash through walls, use the enemies to gain vertical height, or volley dash enemies to continuously keep your character up in the air.
Like most good platformers in each chapter the dash mechanic is utilized in a different way. Fish hopping over toxic lakes, bouncing between wall climbing spider-likes, or activating slow moving deadly ghoul arms all make your journey a satisfying learning experience that keeps you on your toes throughout the campaign.
As you begin the first few worlds are really just focused on the platforming, but the further you get along the puzzles really become apparent. Looking off screen to find that certain enemy to dash to, unlocking a whole new world of challenge, that you then have to solve the puzzle, and platform your way to victory is what shadowbug is all about. You will certainly play the more difficult levels multiple times, learning attack patterns, mapping puzzle results, and timing your dashes just right.
At the end of each world like most platformers, you’ll encounter a boss. The bosses in Shadowbug are the highlight of each of them. Trying over and over, again and again, until landing that perfect move, hit, or jump that gets you to the next attack pattern that you have to figure out. Each at first giving you that oh no feeling, becomes a task of memorization and skill, that feels fantastic.
The biggest and absolute worst part of this what would be overall fun experience, are the controls.
When playing docked you can play with the joycons detached or with the pro controller. You use the left joystick to control left and right walking, and point with the right joy con or tilt the pro controller, utilizing the motion controls to control the little on screen fly. That fly is your pointer to select enemies that you want to dash attack, the most important mechanic of the game. Which does work very well, you do get much better with time, but tight and precise, absolutely not. You can recalibrate your movement by pressing the Y button if it gets wonky, but they rarely feel spot on. It’s incredibly frustrating dying on a difficult level because of shotty controls, not because lack of skill.
When playing handheld the attached joy cons will not work and you are forced to play touchscreen and I would recommend with the joy cons detached.
As you play the iOS version of shadowbug you touch and hold the left or right side of the screen to walk left or right, you then just press the enemy that you would like to dash attack. The reason that you have to detach the joy cons, is that even for a guy with large hands like me, reaching my thumb over the joy cons to press the left and right sides of the screen is too far, and you absolutely cannot get all of the enemies with your thumbs. Removing the joy cons makes it a much more enjoyable experience, but at that point, just buy it on your iphone.
Playing through shadowbug was a back and forth experience of satisfying victories and mechanical frustrations. Underneath the foggy input devices lies a pretty solid platforming experience with fun and innovative puzzle design. The game also has a very good challenge balance, with enough difficulty to increase your skill but keep it feeling light. While I can recommend this game on other platforms, the Nintendo Switch input controls are just not up to par.
Be sure to watch my video review at YouTube channel TheFlannelFox… Expand
Average User Score: 7.6Feb 19, 2018Lone Wolf is an interactive choose your own adventure book with turn based battles peppered throughout.
As the lone wolf you begin theLone Wolf is an interactive choose your own adventure book with turn based battles peppered throughout.
As the lone wolf you begin the story by choosing some traits about yourself that will accompany you throughout your journey. Are you the passionate warrior that rushes into battle or cool and calculating before making your first move, the choices you make with affect the options that you have to choose from later on. The interactive story that you are reading will pose different situations, giving you different choices to solve them. From mind magic, to sneaky passed enemies or all out battle the choices reflect the kind of lone wolf you aim to me.
The action in Lone Wolf consists of turn-based battles with action ques similar to Xenoblade Chronicles 2. To perform a proper heavy attack you'll have to swing your left joystick at just the right moment, to use your throwing knives hitting the Y button three times perfectly with ensure all three knives are thrown. When in a normal turn-based battle you select your choice and sit back to take in the outcome, in lone wolf that’s just when the fun begins. If you miss your action of button que you could miss the attack or to counterattack. If you still play your cards right and go on the defensive for the enemies turn you are given the opportunity to dodge all incoming attacks, if you move out of the way at the right time.
There is also a time limit for each of your turns, making you quickly select which actions you will perform. Unfortunately when fighting you can’t see what each of the attacks will do. While I remembered the locations of the heavy, quicky, and combined attacks. Shortly after the tutorial I forgot what all of the buffs and debuffs did, but eventually you begin to learn the attacks and can breeze through the motions when in the heat of battle.
As you play through the story which is all read in book form, the battles appear in little sections, unfortunately feeling like two different experiences rather than one solid game. The story is quite well written and if i was in the mood for a book, I would honestly just rather read a book. When reading through interactions in the story I wished I was exploring the world, as the picture painted by the author seems like it would be fantastic to explore. However, the only parts of the game that you control the main character are during combat and brief skyrim like lockpicking moments.
Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is a unique experience on the Nintendo Switch and any fan of pen and paper RPGs will certainly have a good time with this sort of adventure. However for me a lot of the game experience is lost when most of that experience is an ebook. Lone Wolf ends up feeling like a string of repetitive turn based battles rather than a cohesive story where you are fighting to save the lands you rule.
Be sure to watch my video review at my YouTube channel TheFlannelFox… Expand