Saturday, December 31, 2011

OtakuDante's Top 10 XBLA & XBLIG of 2011

This year has likely been the best year of my life. It's the year I started my own Xbox 360 review blog, and the year that I gained great respect from the online gaming community. While the year did start off rough for me with the PS3 hacking incident that ended my life as a Sony gamer, it still finished on a good note. I found something special when I took my leap of faith, and invested in a new Xbox 360 console. It was a hard decision for me, but one that I'm glad I made. As months passed by in 2011 I managed to complete over 140 reviews on my newly made review blog, "OtakuDante's Gaming Inferno". My blog currently has over 17,000 page views which I would have never dreamed possible in my career as a freelance reviewer. I took a chance, and made it big. Without my friends, readers and review code contributions from developers I would have failed miserably. As I mentioned in my "Special Thanks" section I'm a man who is thankful for the blessings I receive, and I'd like to thank all of you who made this dream come true for me. Thank you so much! Without further adieu I give you my "Top 10 of 2011". It's a list that will shed light on those 10 special game gems I have found through my reviews in 2011 ...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Homeless (XBLIG): "A Story Driven Street Life Sim"

It seems that everywhere you look these days there are signs of bad things going on. The world economy is dangling by a thread, the stock market plummets and rises, and unemployment has become a steadily growing occurrence all over the planet. While 'Homeless' doesn't directly discuss these happenings, it does give you a glimpse into how hard it can be having to live on the streets. This topic has hit home for so many people, and for so many reasons. I think 'Silver Dollar Games (the developer)' did an awesome thing by releasing this game to the public. It's the sort of game that sheds light on a very serious problem. I think the developer (Silver Dollar Games) said it best in their game description which simply stated "Be thankful for what you have".

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Game Type (XBLIG): "The Xbox 360 Dashboard Through The Eyes Of An Indie Developer"

If you are an active part of the Xbox 360 indie game community as I am, then you'll have a good idea what the new dashboard has done for the XBLIG genre. By now all Xbox 360 gamers have updated their consoles with the newest version of Xbox's dashboard. You have probably found yourself lost among the menus in search for new content, and games as well. You are definitely not alone in this matter. It seems Microsoft has decided to go the unfriendly route, and make a mess of things for indie developers. At first I found myself hopelessly lost among the game marketplace sections wondering how much it was going to complicate my search for games to review.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Colonies: NeoCiv (XBLIG): "A Beautifully Rendered 3D Science Fiction Indie"

I had the opportunity earlier this year to review one of 'Guy Galer/Twist-ed Games' XBLIG titles "Bureau Agent Kendall". If I remember correctly Guy Galer was one of the first indie developers I contacted for review purposes. He was a pleasant guy who was willing to give me a shot at reviewing his visually, and mechanically impressive game. At that time I had found the trailer to "Bureau Agent Kendall" on Youtube, and was truly impressed at how amazing the graphics appeared. I knew at that time that Guy Galer was a very experienced developer who knew how to deliver quality games even if they were just indie titles. Recently during my search for new XBLIG titles to review I stumbled upon Guy Galer's latest creation, "Colonies: NeoCiv". I immediately went to Youtube in search for some gameplay footage, and after watching some I knew I had to get this game for review.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

FireFly Vegas (XBLIG): "A Visually Brilliant Arena Based Shmup"

There a variety of game types within the shmup genre including side-scrollers, bullet hell, and arena based games. RockMint, the developer behind "FireFlyVegas" created their game with graphics that truly suited the title. The game is an enclosed arena based shmup full of brilliantly lit neon shaped enemies that are constantly attacking, and filling the playing field. FireFly Vegas features two different game types (Retro & Dynamic) along with two modes of play (Clock & Survival) in each one. Retro mode takes the classic arena formula, and applies some soothing music with fast paced shmup action. Dynamic is an expert mode that allows the player to rotate the arena 360 degrees while fending of approaching enemies. As with most shmups there are power-ups, point multipliers, and various weapon types that can be obtained/used. This is a dual thumbstick shmup that also utilizes the shoulder buttons for shooting, thrusting, and even jumping. While the game is similar to other shmups it is still it's own game.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pinball FX2 (XBLA): "MARVEL Pinball: Vengeance & Virtue"

Zen Studios, the developer of all 'Pinball FX2' tables have once again allowed me to review their latest release. This time around they created four new tables in the 'MARVEL Pinball" series. This DLC set was properly titled "Vengeance & Virtue". The brand new tables feature 'X-MEN', 'THOR', 'Ghost Rider', and 'Moon Knight' themes. Each table has details that stay true to the corresponding comic book hero's, and villain's stories. As with any Pinball FX2 table there are 3D elements, impressive voice acting, and animated events that accent each table's theme. After playing each table for a while I found them to have a moderate to hard difficulty, and a variety of different features that take some getting used to. I will breakdown each table's pro's, con's and details for you in this review.

Friday, December 16, 2011

They Breathe (XBLIG): "An Eerie Underwater Survival Game"

This is one of those games that takes an old concept, and makes it into something totally unique. If you have ever played the old "Sonic the Hedgehog" games then you'll be familiar with the air bubble concept. The developer (The Working Parts) took the air bubble concept a giant leap forward, and made it into an indie game titled "They Breathe". The game has the player taking on the role of a frog who is constantly diving to the lower depths of what seems to be a flooded forest area. Along the way the frog must compete against other living creatures for air that comes in the form of air bubbles. The game is filled with odd land dwelling, and water dwelling creatures (frogs, moose, giant jellyfish). If you can last long enough to make it to the bottom of the flooded plain then you will be met with a surprise ...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nyan Cat Adventure (XBLIG): "A Game Of Sensory Overload Featuring Nyan Cat"

It wasn't until I reviewed "Bloody Checkers (XBLIG)" earlier this year, and found the hidden Nyan Cat easter egg in it that I realized what Nyan Cat was all about. On my occasional hunt for new Youtube videos to watch I would sometimes see Nyan Cat related videos that were uploaded. I passed them up many times thinking that it looked like another silly trend. After a while I noticed that it was seriously becoming a trend, and that other Nyan Cat type creatures were being shown on Youtube as well. One day (recently) when I was searching for review material on I noticed a gameplay video of "Nyan Cat Adventure", and out of sheer curiosity I watched it. After seeing what I saw I just had to get it for review. I realized that it was a score based game, and to be honest it looked really interesting to me. As usual I sought out the developer's (21 Street Games LLC) permission to review their game, and did my playthrough of all the modes before finally sitting down to do this review.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spartans In Candyland (XBLIG): "THIS ISN'T SPARTAAAAAA! It's A CTF Shmup!"

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play a shmup (shoot 'em up) that featured CTF (Capture the Flag) gameplay along with a Spartans versus Aliens conflict? Well if you have, Marklund Games (the developer) has an answer for you with their latest dual thumbstick shmup/CTF hybrid, "Spartans in Candyland! This one to four player game features a unique roster of four half naked (according to the developer ^.^) gun carrying Spartans who's sole purpose is to survive the constant attacks of swarming Candyland aliens. You have at your disposal (upon pick up) a variety of weapons that include a flamethrower, rocket launcher, grenade launcher, scout rifle, shotgun, and two special abilities (varies per Spartan). The battlefield in which this games unique war takes place is a suburban setup that is 3D in nature, and features a labyrinth style layout filled with parked cars, buildings, and gigantic sweet deserts. The enemies are plenty, but vary little in design. The longer you survive the game the more difficult the aliens will become to kill. Your goal/purpose in this madness is to capture highlighted areas for points which appear at random locations on the map.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Angry Zombie Ninja Cats (XBLIG): "A Unique Platforming Experience"


I absolutely love it when a developer goes out of their way to make a game that is unique. These days there are lots of clones out there, and definitely a lot of zombie games. Oneksoft (AWWW-NECK-SOFT) Games created a zombie game unlike any other I have seen this year. It's a platformer titled "Angry Zombie Ninja Cats", and all of the words within the game's name definitely have something to do with it. The game is an XBLIG title that has the player taking on the role of a cartoon styled ninja cat, and puts them up against some zombified versions of the ninja feline race. While I didn't really find a story, or plot behind this game I imagine that the character you play as is simply trying to eradicate the zombie infestation while gathering all the loot/gems from within the areas/levels.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Zombie Slaughter Is Fun! (XBLIG): "A Dual Thumbstick Zombie Shmup FTW!"

By now most of my readers know I'm a die hard shmup (shoot 'em up) fan. I absolutely love any shmup that offers unique gameplay, and leaderboards (especially online leaderboards). It actually took me by surprise that 'Frooty Game Studios' would not only venture into making a zombie game, but also that they made it a shmup as well. Their latest game 'Zombie Slaughter is Fun!' takes the overhead zombie shmup genre to a new level, and has gamers punishing zombies who are actually fleeing for their lives (or lack there of ^.^). The game features an awesome array of weapon power-ups that literally cover the playing field as you slaughter the incoming/outgoing zombie attackers. The fact that the game is based on highscores, and features a multiplayer only makes it that much better.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Volchaos (XBLIG): "A Punishing Retro Platformer With Humor"

About a week ago 'Fun Infused Games', the developers behind 'Volchaos' requested that I do a review of their game, and as usual I gladly accepted. I'm not really into punishing games that test your patience, but 'Volchaos' didn't seem as extreme as some other games I have previously played ('Platformance: Temple Death' comes to mind ...).  After dealing with family issues for a while I finally got the chance to do my playthrough of the game. It was definitely a unique experience, and I continued to play even though I died numerous times throughout my playthrough. If you're a hasty player then you'll likely suffer the same redundant deaths as I did. I found that I'm a rather impatient player myself, and I definitely payed the price for being so in this game.

Orbitron Revolution (XBLIG): "A Shmup That Should Have Been An XBLA Title"

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of 'Orbitron Revolution' for quite some time now. It was one of those indie games with a jaw-dropping trailer that makes you want it really bad. I had actually got my first glimpse of the game earlier this year not long after I began work on this review site. It looked as if it were XBLA quality, and the trailer was truly amazing to behold. Sadly when I finally got my review copy of the game family, and health issues came up that prevented me from doing a proper playthrough of the game, and deliver my review in a timely fashion. I am finally here though, ready to give you (my readers) a review of this visually stunning shmup.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NanoSquad (XBLIG): "An Anime Style/Squadron Based Shmup"

I'm a guy who loves all kinds, and forms of entertainment. In fact I really like experiencing other cultures' music, and video games. For years I have immersed myself in music from various countries as well as video games from Japan. I never thought I'd see such a diverse cast of developers from various regions of the world contributing to one console like they do on the Xbox 360. Recently during my search for games to review I found an interesting shmup (shooter) that was made by a group of very friendly Arabic game developers (Indie Saudi). The shmup was titled 'NanoSquad', and it was an anime themed game that involved nano technology/research. The cast of characters in the game were represented by some very cool anime drawings/pictures. The plot of the game was deeply involved, and featured a wide cast of characters with Arabic names. NanoSquad is a one-of-a-kind shmup that can be played with friends (co-op), or alone. Either way you play you will use 4 different jets that each have their own unique weapons, and abilities. You're goal is to survive to the end of each stage, and defeat a boss. Between the gameplay action there is a story that is played out through dialogue giving the game a mythology of it's own.

Elfsquad7 (XBLIG): "A Cool Christmas Crisis Co-op Game"

I'm a huge fan of the Christmas holiday, and I always have been. During my childhood it was all about the toys, and video games I would get but as I grew older Christmas took on a different meaning for me. It became a time when family found common ground, and would spend some quality time together. It is definitely nice to spend Christmas with loved ones, but deep down I still enjoy the presents that I get (I probably always will ...). As a new XBLIG reviewer I recently encountered my first holiday themed games when Halloween rolled around this year. I was really glad to see developers producing some good indie titles for that holiday. I've found during my time as an Xbox 360 reviewer that the indie games cover a wide variety of genres, and themes. It's something I've definitely grown to love about the Xbox 360. After scouring Youtube for review material recently I found a Christmas oriented game that genuinely caught my attention. The name of that game was "Elfsquad7", and it was developed by 'Tykocom'. I ended up watching a gameplay video of it, and I decided that even though I could only go solo in it I still wanted to review it. It honestly looked very impressive to me, and I couldn't wait to try it out ...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MW3 vs BF3 (Xbox 360): "The Breakdown"

As most of you know by now I own/play both 'CoD: Modern Warfare 3', and 'Battlefield 3' for the Xbox 360. I know that a lot of you are still curious as to which is the better game, and this article will try help explain the differences between each of them. Earlier in the week a friend told me that you can't really do a true comparison of the two games, because they are totally different in terms of what they offer. After considering that I decided the best way to do my article is to give my readers the lowdown on what's good, and what's bad about each game. The article will be arranged out in sections that describe various parts of the games including graphics, sound quality, gameplay, controls, customization, modes, and other features.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ChainCrusher Enhanced Version Trailer!

Recently I posted details from an email I received about the enhanced version of Mindware Ltd.'s "ChainCrusher (XBLIG)" game. It mentioned a lot of improvements as well as some really cool additions to the game including an online leaderboard, new music tracks, and a stand alone music mode. This morning during my routine Youtube browsing I found the new extended version trailer which I would like to share with you ...

NOTE: If you have already purchased "ChainCrusher" the update is free, but if you haven't the game will cost you 400 msp.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Perkunas' Dragon Episode One (XBLIG): "Slovanic Mythology Told Through Shmup, RPG & Puzzle Gameplay"

I'm a huge fan of any kind of mythology. I remember spending countless hours reading up on Greek, and Egyptian myths at the local library during the earlier part of my life. With that being said my interest in mythology spanned all cultures, and civilizations. I often dreamed of becoming an archaeologist, and some day unearthing the remnants/histories of long forgotten civilizations. Of course I abandoned that dream to become the reviewer that I am today (^.^). While reviewing video games is far from finding lost civilizations, and their mythologies it still allows me to spend time in mythologies of the digital kind. Middle Lands Studios, the developer behind the "Perkunas' Dragon" series kindly allowed me to review their first game in what's supposed to be a series based on a mythological Slovanic tale. It involves The god Perkunas, a prayer from a desperate duke (Duke Radbod), and Zithira the dragoness which Perkuna has sent to him as an answer to his prayer ...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Xotic (XBLA): "An FPS Hybrid Like No Other"

I rarely ever get excited solely by the looks of an XBLIG, or XBLA game. In this case something about 'WXP Game's (The Developer)' new FPS Hybrid titled "Xotic" really caught my attention. In fact it held my attention to the point that I watched all of the trailers, and videos about it as I sent multiple review requests hoping to secure a code. I was definitely determined to get this game for review. To me 'Xotic' seemed like one of those "next best thing" sort of games. It's not often that someone reinvents a genre in an entirely new way. WXP Games not only reinvented the FPS genre, but made a game unlike anything I have ever seen. The originality I witnessed in 'Xotic' was truly awe inspiring to say the least.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who's the Daddy? (XBLIG): "A Hilarious Jab At Underage Pregnancy"

A couple of months back my good friend (or at least I consider him to be ...), and indie developer Jonathan F. of 'Silver Dollar Games' posted one of the most funny XBLIG concepts I had ever seen. The name of that video/game was "Who's the Daddy?", and it wasn't actually meant to be released (according to Jonathan F. himself). I had actually got such a good laugh out of the original video that I suggested to the developer that he should release it on the Xbox Live Marketplace. He informed me that he would try to release it which I was definitely glad to hear that. After a couple of months passed my hopes for the release became a distant thing, but I'm glad to say that 'Silver Dollar Games' went through with it and released "Who's the Daddy?". While it's not one of the most involved XBLIG titles out there it's still worth the 80 msp for the laugh ...

Hell's House (XBLIG): "An Interactive Horror Story"

I'm a huge fan of the horror genre. Whether it's in video games, or movies I love the adrenaline pumping scares that the horror genre offers. It's the kind of thing that will keep your heart beating (unless it scares you to death first ...). Halloween 2011 has come, and gone unfortunately. I had sent my request to get this game for review before Halloween had ended, but it wasn't until earlier of this week that 'BM Games (Brave Men Games/The Developer)' decided to reply to my request. It was likely due to the fact that I contacted them through Youtube, so the fault probably lies with me. Nevertheless I was glad to get the game for review. Like many of the indie games I have reviewed here, "Hell's House" offers something unique. I was glad to get the chance to experience it for myself, and share what I experienced with you (my dedicated readers).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chain Crusher Enhanced Version *Update/Stand Alone*

I just recieved an email from a developer friend of mine (Micky G. Albert) about an upcoming update on their XBLIG title 'Chain Crusher'. The following is a part of the email I recieved:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

You're All Diseased! (XBLIG): "Saving Digital Lives Shmup Style!"

Earlier this year I reviewed a simple shmup (shoot 'em up) called 'Pixelosity', and stated that it would likely be one of my shortest reviews. The same applies to this review, but don't let that discourage you from getting this game. You're All Diseased is a unique dual thumbstick shmup that was developed by 'PicWin Studios/Dejitaru Forge'. It has you taking on the role of a white blood cell as it travels through veins, and organs. The goal is to simply eradicate all the virus, diseases, and bacteria that try to attack you. As you make your way through the veins in the game you will encounter a wide variety of enemies that look like the cells of a human being. Your only defense against the biological attackers is the bullet spray that you shoot from your white blood cell. As you kill enemies without getting hit you will earn point (saved lives) multipliers. When your white blood cell finally dies off (loses all 3 lives) you will be given a final score letting you know how many points, or lives you have saved. You also create vaccines from power-ups that you collect. This will also be added to your final score. You're All Diseased is a highscore oriented game, so survivng for as long as you can will give you the opportunity to place high on the game's leaderboard.

Invasion (XBLIG): "Comedy, Sarcasm & Solid Gameplay Ready To Invade Your Xbox 360."

Invasion is the second game in what seems to be a series by the XBLIG developer 'Heart Attack Machine'. The first game titled 'Parasitus Ninja Zero' which I reviewed earlier this year seems to be the prequel/sequel to 'Invasion'. In 'Invasion' you take on the role of the 'soldier (Stockton)' character that was unlockable in 'Parasitus Ninja Zero'. The game features familiar 'Contra' style gameplay, and has a 'Castlevania' look about it. While there are some visual similarities to the previously mentioned games, the graphics are much more impressive, and the soundtrack is superb. The story of the game is all over the place though, and is haunted by bad jokes and brief sexual innuendo. I'm not actually sure why the developer went this route with the game, but the mature look of it and the childish humor just doesn't mix well.

Friday, November 11, 2011

CastleMiner Z (XBLIG): "Horror Survival CastleMiner Style!"

I have watched my nephew play 'Minecraft' religiously this year, and I've always been curious about that type of game. I noticed that the Xbox Live Marketplace has had a few spin-offs of 'Minecraft', but I had never actually got the chance to play or review one. When I saw that 'DigitalDNA (The Developer)' had released a zombie version of the game with FPS gameplay mechanics I knew I had to get it for review. I absolutely love horror survival games, and first person shooters! I was definitely wondering how well these two themes would be incorporated into this game. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found, and even stepped into someone's created world to share the experience. I hope that 'GT: FloatingWinter' didn't mind the intrusion, but I was grateful that they offered me a safe place to stay for when the zombies began to attack in 'Survival' mode. It was a fun experience, and a learning one as well. In the end I'm always glad to try out new things.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flow Rider (XBLIG): "An Affordable Yet Impressive Top-Down Boat Racing Game"

Flow Rider is one of those XBLIG titles that pushes the boundaries between what an indie game offers, and what an arcade (XBLA) game offers. Triple B Games the developers behind 'Flow Rider' have made the game easily accessible to players, and presented it in a visually stunning manner. The game itself features both single, and multiplayer modes that can be played online and offline. The singleplayer mode has 4 racing tiers with 5 races in each tier. There are a total of 19 tracks (Deluge, Laguna, Pipeline ...) to play on, and 4 vehicle types (Behemoth, Cyclone, Scarab, Splitter) to choose from. The boats feature simple color customization, and vehicle specific attributes (speed, boost, armor, agility) that effect how the boat maneuvers within the game. The tracks in 'Flow Rider' feature dynamic lighting, and an ever-changing prism of colors. The game is all about speed, and winning. Getting that 1st place medal in the game will require the proper use of boosts, and track shortcuts.

Monday, November 7, 2011

BurgerTime World Tour (XBLA): "A Fast Paced Fast Food Arcade Game Frenzy"

During my time as a gamer I have never really played a game like 'BurgerTime World Tour'. I do realize that there was a release of BurgerTime for a retro console (The NES I believe???), but I never really got the opportunity to see what it was about. Aside from it's classic gaming roots BurgerTime had previously been re-released as a next generation XBLA game that played, and looked very similar to this one (BurgerTime HD). Monkey Paw Games the developers behind this wacky puzzle/platformer revived the title once more with newly added features that includes an online multiplayer mode, and Xbox live avatar compatability. The offline mode features 4 worlds with multiple levels in which 'Peter Pepper' competes against rival burger makers by completing burgers (layer by layer). His task is complicated by attacks from various enemy foods (hot dogs, Limburger Cheese, Eggs, Pickles, Peppers ...), obstacles, traps, and level sized bosses that constantly block his path to progress.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Escape Goat (XBLIG): "A Truly Impressive Retro Platformer"

I recently reviewed two platformers that were lacking in quality gameplay. The games in question offered a challenge, but unfortunately the challenge was based on avoiding cheap deaths. when I sent an inquiry about 'Escape Goat' I was seriously hoping that this wouldn't be a repeat of one of those 'impossible' games. MagicalTimeBean, the developers behind this retro marvel did not disappoint. I was able to complete the entire game without suffering from too many pointless deaths (there were a few). The puzzle solving in the game took a good bit of thinking, but it wasn't something that you had to be a genius at to solve. I ended up really liking the game. The fact that the developer included a detailed level editor made the game even better.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Professional $tealer (XBLIG): "Sidescrolling Parkour Thievery"

I recently got a request from the PR of this game about doing a review of it. As always I was glad to accept the job, and give my honest opinion about the game. Professional $tealer was developed by 'Aly Ameen/Brush and Code'. It's a 2D sidescrolling platformer that uses a constant running theme mixed with parkour style gameplay. I have actually reviewed a few XBLIG titles on my blog that feature similar gameplay styles, and I enjoyed them. This wasn't the case with 'Professional $tealer though ... In 'Professional $tealer' the player (stick man) takes on the role of a thief who is constantly on the run from cops. The thief in question has to dodge different obstacles in his/her path (jets, satellites, rockets, cops) using simple parkour style moves (jumps, wall jumping, sliding). There are three modes of play in the game that include singleplayer, multiplayer, and a score based mode called 'challenge'. The goal in each mode is simple. As the theif you must keep on the run, dodge obstacles, and make it to the end.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sins of the Flesh (XBLIG): "A Haunting Story Told With Shmup Style Gameplay"

This year has brought with it some really impressive XBLIG titles from some equally impressive developers. I'm definitely glad to have got to review such creative indie game masterpieces in the short time that I have been doing reviews. Silver Dollar Games is among the most impressive developers that I have had the chance to review for, and they have yet to let me down with any of their releases. Whenever I see that 'Silver Dollar Games' has released a new XBLIG title I do not hesitate in contacting them about reviewing it. This was definitely the case with their recent release of 'Sins of the Flesh'. When I first looked at the cover art of their game it was a serious "WOW!" moment. I wanted to see what the game was like immediately, so I downloaded the trial. What I found was a very cool story driven polarity style shmup (Think 'Ikaruga'). The demo itself didn't even touch base with what the full game offered. I found this out after securing a review token of the game, and doing a full playthrough of it ...

Hope For Jena ... Jena Has Passed Away (Nov. 1, 2011)

You may have noticed by now that I have removed the 'Hope For Jena' banner as well as the original post about the donations. I recieved some sad news this morning on Twitter that my friend @IRGRL's sister Jena had passed away. She died on Nov. 1, 2011 (3am) after a serious struggle with leukemia. I appreciate any donations that you have contributed to Jena's cause as I'm sure @IRGRL is also. It is hard to lose a loved one. My thoughts, and prayers are with @IRGRL, and her family as they go through their time of mourning.

- Brad C. (OtakuDante) -

Monday, October 31, 2011

Castle Of Pixel Skulls (XBLIG): "A Retro Skeleton Platformer"

This review of 'Castle Of Pixel Skulls' was actually requested by the developer. I'm always thrilled to have game developers contact me about reviewing their latest creations. I don't think I'd turn down any request unless the developer was being a total arse about it. In this case the developer (Josep Monzonis, 2KSOMNIS) was actually fairly straightforward with the email inquiry he sent me. I was definitely glad to accept the assignment since the game (Castle of Pixel Skulls) looked very interesting to me. Everything from the graphics to the gameplay itself all looked well designed yet simple. Simple games are sometimes much better than the mainstream games that gamers pay top dollar for. I definitely wanted to see if that was the case with this indie game title ...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Real Steel (XBLA): "A Highly Customizable Robot Boxing Game ..."

If you are as old as I am you have probably seen the "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots" toys of ages (years ^.^) gone by. The concept was really simple back then, and only involved a couple of movable plastic robots that were attached to a plastic boxing ring. It was inevitable that the release of a movie/video game such as "Real Steel" would sooner, or later rear it's head. With the lack of inspiration that seems to be plaguing the hollywood directors of today, and the classic toy/movie craze (Smurfs, Transformers ...) that is currently going on it all sort of adds up. Yuke's Co., Ltd is the developer behind this video game rendition of the recent movie release. Unlike the movie "Real Steel" there is nothing going on behind the stage involving the human puppet masters (Hugh Jackman ...) that control the brawling bots. The game itself is pretty much a straightforward boxing game with some nice additions (RPG elements, customizations, robotic dismemberments ...) to gameplay that suit the scifi content the game was molded after.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone (XBLA): "A Dual Thumbstick Zombie Shmup"

Zombie Apocalypse: NDA (Never Die Alone) is the sequel to Back Bone Entertainment, and Konami's 'Zombie Apocalypse' game of 2009. It features dual thumbstick (shmup) style gameplay, and a story that can be completed in either singleplayer or multiplayer modes. Up to four players can join in on the zombie shooting spree in multiplayer mode, or you can have at it alone switching between characters as you make your way across the zombie infested locations. There are four unique characters to play as in the game. There is a gamer dude named 'Jeremy', a female weapons specialist named 'Alma', A youth minister named 'Father Bill', and a British/Australian rapper named 'Def Money'. Each character plays their own special part in this apocalyptic zombie tale that takes place in the various locales of Canada. There's lots of humor to enjoy, zombie swarms to neutralize, and some major moolah to collect in this RPG driven shoot 'em up.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The War of the Worlds (XBLA): "H.G. Well's Classic Tale Reimagined"

When you have been a gamer for as long as I have you have likely witnessed the change in visual styles, and graphics on gaming consoles through the years. There have been both 2D, and 3D versions of video games released throughout the years I have been gaming. Rarely ever do you see a developer take a gaming concept of old, and significantly enhance it though. This is definitely the case with 'Other Ocean Interactive's (The Developer)' latest reimagining of H.G. Wells classic martian invasion story "The War of the Worlds". The developer has taken the oldschool 2D platforming genre, and has applied it in a way that pays perfect tribute to the classic invasion tale. The graphics are definitely next generation quality, and the soundtrack is truly amazing. To top all of that off, Other Ocean Interactive has acquired the voice-over talents of 'Sir Patrick Stewart'! With all of that combined 'The War of the Worlds' for the Xbox 360 has been brought to life in a way that the newer generation of gamers can experience, and appreciate.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Light Fish (XBLIG): "An Aquatic Puzzle/Arcade Game"

Just when I had thought I'd seen every twist on video game genres possible 'Eclipse Games (The Developer)' goes and creates 'Light Fish'. If you have ever played Japanese import video games then you may have stumbled across some puzzle mini-games (Reveal the Picture Games) that have you revealing pictures by boxing off portions of the screen with lines. The developer has taken this concept a giant leap forward, and utilized that type of gameplay in a whole new way. Instead of boxing in sections of a panel to reveal a picture you will be trapping other types of geometric/aquatic creatures, and reefs in order to score points.

No Pain No Brain (XBLIG): "16-Bit Zombie Bashing Goodness"

It is that time of year again (October) when game developers all start pitching in their latest horror genre releases. I'm actually a huge fan of the month of October, because all of the horror movies are shown on TV and the new horror survival games that are introduced. The indie scene is actually no different from the mainstream gaming scene in that they also add their contributions of horror into the mix. I have actually seen quite a few horror related XBLIG titles released this October, and I was lucky enough to get one for review. The game I speak of is titled 'No Pain No Brain'. It is a zombie brawler that pays homage to those classic 16-bit game titles that many of you have likely enjoyed growing up as a gamer. The game's hero is a tough talking truck driver named Jack Preston who is on a mission to rescue survivors. With his female assistant guiding him over his CB radio he drives to different locales in order to whoop some zombie arse, and save the citizens from flesh eating doom.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Four Winds Fantasy (XBLIG): "A Fantasy RPG That Defies Explanation"

I have reviewed some very "interesting" XBLIG titles in my short time as a reviewer, but none that comes even close in comparing to QuimDung Co., Ltd's (The Developer) debut RPG "Four Winds Fantasy". I'm not even sure I'm going to be able to properly describe what I witnessed when I played this game, but I'm going to give it my best shot ...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Avatar Panic! (XBLIG): "Classic Arcade Fun With Xbox Live Avatars"

When I first started my playthrough of 'Avatar Panic!'I had a feeling of dejavu. I was thinking to myself that I remember a game back in the NES days which was very similar to it. After doing a tiny bit of research I found the answer I was looking for, or rather the game I was looking for. If any of my readers recall a Nintendo game titled 'Buster Bros.' then you'll have a very good idea what this game is all about. Basically 'Avatar Panic!' is a bubble busting game (similar to 'Buster Bros.') that uses your avatar as a playable character, and has you trying to shoot down bubbles with a harpoon. The game is presented in a 2D style with 3D accents/backgrounds. The game features two modes of play (Arcade, Panic!) in which the objective is to pop all the bubbles while trying not to get hit. Milkstone studios, the developer behind this rendition of the arcade classic is well known for their online scoreboard based games. I was pleasantly surprised when I did my playthrough of 'Avatar Panic!', and found out that they included online leaderboards in this game.

Platform Hack (XBLIG): "A 2D Hack 'n Slash/RPG Platformer"

I have noticed what seems to be a slightly growing trend when it comes to XBLIG, and XBLA RPG releases. I recently did a review on 'Dungeon Defenders' which was an RPG/Tower Defense hybrid, and now 'Daydalus Studios' has released an XBLIG hybrid RPG of their own. The RPG I speak of is 'Platform Hack' which is a 2D hack 'n slash RPG platformer. It has it's own unique look with hand drawn artwork/features as wells as a some very involved gameplay mechanics. In the game you will earn points to further unlock your powers, and special abilities as you level up from experience which is gained from the enemies you slay. There are four different levels/worlds to conquer, as well as five different larger than life bosses to defeat in order to save your precious Sophie. Along the way you will also find 20 treasures that are well hidden throughout the maze-like levels. When, and if you are able to defeat the evil character that is behind Sophie's disappearance you will be faced with a final choice that will conclude the game in one of two ways ...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

OtakuDante: "Tales of a Fighting Game Fanatic Vol.1"

After some thought, I decided I would go over my fighting game history for all of my readers here. I have been gaming for over 20 years now, and many of those years have been spent on playing fighting games. My beginnings were modest, and actually began when I got 'Street Fighter II: Championship Ed.' for my 13th birthday. In all honesty it wasn't easy convincing my mother to let me play the fighting games when I was young considering she came from a christian background, but she has been very supportive of my gaming habits over the years. Without the support of my family, and friends I probably wouldn't have pursued the fighting game genre as long as I have. My entire fighting game history spans over multiple gaming consoles, and even in time I spent at the arcades when they were still around in my area. Over the years I have gradually advanced in skill level, and can hold my own even against some of the higher online ranked gamers. Even so I still have a lot to learn, and continue to do so each time I put a fighting game into my console.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bejeweled 3 (XBLA): "A Multi-Mode Gem Matching Puzzle Game"

In the many years I've been gaming I have played a wide variety of video game genres that include puzzle games. Some of those puzzle games that I enjoyed playing included several 'PopCap Game' titles such as their very popular Bejeweled series. My family has an extremely competitive nature when it comes to gaming, and we would often times try to beat each other's scores in Bejeweled, Bejeweled 2, and Bejeweled Blitz. My Mother, and Father both are actually pros at the Bejeweled games, and have scored in the millions of points during their playthroughs. When I saw that 'Bejeweled 3' was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace I knew I had to do a review on it, because it's one of those amazing arcade style games that should get some recognition. I honestly knew the game was going to be great before I requested it. I just didn't know how much content 'PopCap Games' had included in this installment of the series. That is another reason for my request of the game. I like to keep my readers informed on all types of games even if they are puzzle related.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bellum Gothicum Orchestra - "Amor Vincit"

Earlier this year I featured the band 'Bellum Gothicum Orchestra'  here on my blog. They are an amazing band with a very unique sound. The band was kind enough to send me an autographed CD by airmail which I have greatly enjoyed listening to. Recently they released another music video of their song 'Amor Vincit'. It was one of my favorites from the CD, and I would like to take the time to share it with you ...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Techno Chopper (XBLIG): "A Simple Prismatic Chopper Survival Game"

There is actually a method to my madness when it comes to my requesting of XBLIG/XBLA games for review. For the most part I look to see if the game offers a solid gameplay experience. I also tend to go by how visually impressive the game appears to be. On rare occassions I will overlook the visuals, because the gameplay itself looks really impressive. Techno Chopper attracted me with it's visual style as well as the score based gameplay that it offered. I'm definitely drawn to games that are based on high scores due to my very competitive gaming nature. I immediately sent 'GZ Storm' my request (the developer behind this unique game) in hopes of securing it for review. I was glad that they allowed me to review the game, because I thought it looked like something my readers would be interested in knowing about.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Antipole (XBLIG): "A 2D Side-Scrolling Anti-Gravity Adventure"

I always consider myself fortunate, and lucky when a developer contacts me about reviewing their game. It dosen't matter how big, or small the game might be. It's always a nice treat for me, and it let's me know (as I've mentioned before) that I'm doing something right with my reviews. This time around it was 'Saturnine Games' that sent me an email request. In the email they asked me to review their latest XBLIG title 'Antipole'. I wasn't really sure what the game was about, but I was glad that the developer requested me to review it. I ended up playing through 'Antipole' this morning, and it took a little over two hours to complete. For a small indie game it definitely offered quite a challenge with it's anti-gravity concept. It also had an extra mode of play besides the main mode (Challenge Mode). In my playthrough I encountered many unique puzzles, and gameplay concepts that I haven't seen in a 2D side-scroller before.

Dungeon Defenders (XBLA): "A Tower Defense & RPG Hybrid Gaming Experience"

I did a lot of research before I set out on my quest to get the review code for Trendy Entertainment's new XBLA release 'Dungeon Defenders'. Initially I was quite impressed with what I witnessed from watching the 'Dungeon Defenders' trailers, and developer diaries videos. I knew I had to get this game for review, so that my reader's would be well informed as to what the game's experience is like. I also wanted to see for myself how this game compared/differed from other RPG hybrids. I have to honestly say that I was thrilled when Trendy Entertainment's PR sent me two review codes, so that I could experience the multiplayer with someone else that I knew. Often times I find myself missing out on the multiplayer experience, because I have no one to share it with. Thankfully Trendy Ent. realized that the reviewers (such as myself) needed to play their game as it was meant to be played, in multiplayer/LIVE.

Dungeon Defenders (XBLA): LIVE With @CherryRasulka

The developer (Trendy Ent.) of this unique/amazing tower defense hybrid game (Dungeon Defenders) gave me not one, but two review codes. The reason behind this was that the guys/gals at Trendy Ent. felt that it was necessary for me to be able to experience the entire game as it was meant to be experienced. Dungeon Defenders offers the gamer a solid single player/multiplayer gaming experience, but in the end I found that the game was truly meant to be enjoyed with someone else. My someone else (the reciever of the 2nd review code) just so happened to be my good friend @CherryRasulka from Twitter. Her, and her husband have both shared a previous online gaming experience with me, so I knew she would be the perfect teammate for the job. She has agreed to do an interview with me which I thought was quite nice. What follows is a series of questions, and answers between me and @CherryRasulka about her time with 'dungeon Defenders' ...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pinball FX2 (XBLA): "Sorcerer's Lair"

Zen Studios, the developers of the Pinball FX2 series have added yet another amazing creation to their pinball table library. This newest table which is appropriately titled 'Sorcerer's Lair' delivers awesome pinball action with more interactive parts/missions than the previous tables. There are many different ways to score points as you take on the role of Jake, and Amanda (A Brother & Sister Duo) along with their ghostly friend Whisper as they try to outsmart the evil sorcerer. The table itself takes place at a magical Citadel that is haunted by various apparitions, and otherworldly creatures. It is up to you (Jake, Amanda, Whisper) to withstand all of the sorcerer's attacks, and beat him at his own game.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blocky (XBLIG): "Like Owning A Pet Rock, But Much Better ..."

As an XBLIG, and XBLA reviewer I try hard to pick out titles that I believe my readers will be interested in knowing about. I use a simple method of narrowing down the list of choices by using certain criteria. The things I look for in a new title can include anything from the quality of humor, to the overall appearance of the game. In blocky's case I thought it showed a very humerous side as well as some solid looking gameplay. The trailer really drew my attention to this game, and the hilarious narration that was added also sparked my curiosity. This new XBLIG title by 'ThinkFlowGames' proved to be one of the best games that I have reviewed/plyed through this year, but I'll let you judge that for yourself ...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

FITS (XBLIG): "Fishing In The Sea"

LuckySoft is one of the few developers that I know who really appreciates my reviewing, and always asks me to review their latest games. I feel quite honored that a developer such as LuckySoft would think so highly of my reviews that they would personally request me to review their new games. With that being said I do feel a bit bad about falling behind schedule, and getting to their game last. Life happens though, and I'm glad that I'm finally able to present my review of 'FITS (Fishing In The Sea)' to you guys (and gals).

Friday, October 7, 2011

There Will Be Brains (XBLIG): "Barricades, Zombies & A Wide Variety Of Weapons"

Sometimes I really look forward to a release of certain XBLIG titles, and 'There Will Be Brains' just so happened to be one of those games. The game takes a simple concept, and delivers it in a very artistic manner. As the gamer you will take control of Jackie, redheaded girl who has found herself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. To begin with you are given a gun, and a barricade of furniture to hide behind. With these tools, and weapons that you buy (from a merchant) you must stand your ground against wave after wave of the living dead. The game is mission based, and you must defeat zombies while gathering the right amount of gasoline in order to progess through different points/missions on the map. In a sort of 'Resident Evil 4' fashion the game provides the opportunity to purchase more/better weapons from a traveling merchant with the money that you loot from the undead denizens. If you survive long enough, and purchase the best protection you might just come out of this situation alive.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SteamSunk (XBLIG): "A Top-Down War Boat Shmup"

Whenever I watch a trailer of an indie game I usually have a pretty good idea of what it's about. If my memory serves me well 'SteamSunk' had a 3D look to it in the trailer. I have been known to be wrong on occassion though ... Whatever the case was I found myself a bit surprised when I realized that the game was a top-down shmup that took place on a massive lake. It was definitely a very pleasant surprise though. Snape, the developer behind this rather unique steamboat style shooter made the game very user friendly. Not only can you access a detailed control layout via the inside of the ship, but you can also access all of the other menu options in the ships bay window as well. SteamSunk features 4 difficulty settings (Easy, Normal, Hard, Godlike) with significant differences (more/harder enemies/bosses). These difficulty settings make the game easily accessible for both those who are new to the shmup genre, as well as veteran players.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dark Delve (XBLIG): "A Dungeon Crawler/Turn Based RPG"

Dark Delve is one of those games that kind of reinvents a genre. In this case that game genre happens to be RPGs. Checkmark Games, the developer behind this one of a kind RPG brings their game to life in a very artistic manner. Aside from the core turn based RPG gameplay, 'Dark Delve' features hand drawn characters/creatures, and photographic scenery that is showcased throughout the game's entirety. The game begins with an epic, and somewhat poetic tale of a queen who has turned against her people. Generations after being sealed away, a team of heroes (mages, warriors, rogues) must go on a quest to mercifully end the queens life before she does any further harm to her kingdom. As the player you take on the role of 4 customizable characters with different skills (mages, warriors, rogues). You get to choose the look of each character from various drawings. You can even name your band of heroes as you see fit. Once you have your team ready you will be set to go on your way.

Convict Minigames (XBLIG): "A 5 Title Minigame Compilation"

Convict Interactive recently released a compilation of 5 indie minigames. The game's title was appropriately called 'Convict Minigames' since it was Convict Interactive that developed them. The games featured in this set include 'Bop!', 'High Hopes', 'Jurassic Bar', 'Cave In', and 'Triangle Man (which made me think of that 80's song with Triangle Man lyrics ^.^). For the most part the games end really quickly, except for 'Triangle Man' which features more involved gameplay. All of the games can be played alone (single player), or with up to 4 players. Each game features an impressive soundtrack that accents the games rather nicely.

Pixelosity (XBLIG): "A Simple Shmup With Great Replay Value"

Pixelosity is the simplest indie game/shmup that I have ever played. Being the in-depth reviewer that I am it kind of presented a problem, and as a result this will likely be the shortest review I will do ...

Pixelostiy is a simple 1, or 2 player sidescrolling shmup that was developed by 'GLHF Games'. You pilot a ship (that is constructed of simple pixel blocks) as it flys along with a rainbow trailing behind it (kind of like Nyan Cat ^.^). Your goal is to try to shoot down other ships, and get the highest score in the process of doing so. You can accumulate chains (multiple enemies killed without getting hit) that add to your ever-growing score. As you fly through the game your score will gradually rise along with the additional points that you get for destroying ships in your path. Like any shmup you can find power-ups from the fallen enemies/ships that will aid you in your progress. I've actually only found a few of them though. The power-ups I did find included bullet overdrive (rapid fire), double bullets (shoots a wide spray of shots), and a bomb (clears the screen of enemy ships). You have a limited amount of lives in 'Pixelosity', so using power-ups to your advantage will definitely help out.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Worms Ultimate Mayhem (XBLA): "Humorous Turn Based Worm Combat"

Whenever I request a game for review I usually have a good idea what it's about. This time around I found myself in new territory not knowing much about the Worms games. I knew that Worms had been around for a good while, and I even remember seeing a version of it released on the PSN when I had my PS3. I always thought it looked like an interesting game series, so I decided to seek out this latest version for review. I have to say that I've been quite fortunate as a new game reviewer with the support that developers have given me. I was quite excited to hear that 'Team17 Software Ltd.' was willing to not only give me a chance to review their new game, but also to allow me to do an interview with them. It has been a new experience for me, and I hope to do more interviews with my upcoming reviews if my readers like this one. Without further hesitation I present to you my review of Team17's 'Worms Ultimate Mayhem' ...

Exclusive Interview With John Dennis, Head of Design, Team17 Software Ltd. (Worms Ultimate Mayhem)

I'm a gaming blogger who really likes to expand what I do by learning, and doing new things with my reviews. In my recent quest to obtain review codes I was lucky enough to get a code for 'Worms Ultimate Mayhem' from Team17 Software Ltd. I just recently started my venture into reviewing XBLA game titles, and it's definitely Awesome when developers are willing to give me an opportunity to prove my worth in the online reviewing community. Being able to get my reviews out to my readers is also very rewarding. In the process of my request Team17 offered to do an interview with me, and it didn't take me long (maybe a minute ^.^) to decide to take them up on that offer. The following is the interview between me (OtakuDante), and John Dennis who is the Head of Design for Team17. I hope you enjoy it, and that it offers some insight into Team17's Worms universe ...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Astralia (XBLIG): "50% Shmup & 50% Strategy"

Astralia is a new breed of shoot 'em up that incorporates strategy into it's gameplay. I wasn't really quite sure what to expect when I first layed eyes on this unique XBLIG title, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised. Astroboid Games, the developer behind this shmup hybrid brings the game to life with a unique story about materia, AI, and the fall of the universe as a result of it. The game features one of the most visually impressive tutorials I have ever seen. It not only includes a video to go along with the tutorial, but the game also does a nice job of explaining the rules as you actually play. Once you get a handle on the controls you'll be set to enjoy this amazing science fiction adventure as it is told through this indie game's presentation.

Wizorb (XBLIG): "Classic Brick Breaking With An RPG Twist"

During one of my routine searches for new games to review I found a youtube trailer of 'Wizorb' which looked just like the NES games I grew up with. I was definitely looking forward to reviewing this game, and sent my review request in early. I was glad that 'Tribute Games' gave me a chance to review Wizorb. It's not often that a reviewer such as myself gets to review an indie game from an experienced developer who has worked on mainstream games. I found out through an email from 'Tribute Games' that they have contributed to such titles as 'Deus Ex: Human Revolution', and 'Scott Pilgrim vs The World'. I even found that some of the developers that make up the 'Tribute Games' team  formerly worked for Eidos, and Ubisoft which I thought was quite noteworthy. I could definitely tell that the 'Tribute' team knew how to make a quality game by their background, but as a reviewer I had to see for myself ...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Convict Interactive - Rebecca Fernandez (Convict Minigames)

You can probably imagine that a blogger such as myself hardly gets any personal review requests, but that when I do it really means a lot. It tells me that I'm doing something right, and that I'm connecting well with the gaming community. Recently 'Rebecca Frenandez' of Convict Interactive contacted me about reviewing her new XBLIG game. I had never actually looked into the game until she sent me an email. This morning I took the time to look at the youtube video that was attached to the email letter as well as another video I found about Rebecca herself. I think its definitely cool that new developers are finding their place in the gaming industry. It's always good to see new talent, and new games arise from these new developers' imaginations. I can seriously see Rebecca going far in the gaming industry even if she is only doing indie games at the moment. After watching that video about her attending the E3 convention I can definitely tell she has the motivation for it, as well as the education to make her ideas a reality. I hope to be able to review more of her games as time goes on. I'm going to include the two videos I previously mentioned in this post, so you can see what I'm speaking of ...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't Feed The Trolls (XBLIG): 'A Troll Slappin' Good Time!'

Don't Feed The Trolls was developed by 'Frozax Games'. It takes the simple concept of feeding bears, and slapping trolls to a new level. The game requires a lot of focus, and quick reflexes as you make your way through levels with new types of bears/trolls constantly being added into the mix. Each level looks the same, and is divided into 4 sections which coincide with the X, Y, A, and B buttons on your Xbox 360 controller. Your job is to hit the appropriate button at the right time in order to feed the bears. To slap the trolls you will use the (Left Thumbstick), and press it in the direction of the current troll's location. As you progress through the levels new controls are added to the game that effect certain bear, and troll types further complicating gameplay. If you slap a bear, or feed a troll too many times it will be 'Game Over'. The levels in the game give you a score at the end (A++ - F) that takes in account all of your actions (slaps, missed slaps, slapped bears/trolls, missed feedings ...). The game also features an online leaderboard that ranks you against the other players of the game which is definitely a welcome addition. Don't Feed The Trolls offers two levels of difficulty for gamers to choose from, 'Normal' and 'Hard (for those who are glutton for punishment ^.^). You can save your progress up until you get a gameover by pressing (B) after each level. This is a good tip to follow for achieving a decent spot on the leaderboard.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Trouble Witches Neo! (XBLA): "A Cute Anime Witch Shmup"

Trouble Witches Neo! is actually two games in one, and was developed by 'Bouken/SNK PLAYMORE'. It features the original game (Trouble Witches AC) as well as an 'Arranged 360 Mode (NEO)' with revamped anime character designs. The story of the game follows 8 young maid-witches on a quest to restore peace to their kingdom. They must each face other maid-witches (via boss battles), and claim the fragments of the ring of Draupnir in order to do so. The king has also stated that anyone who captures the one responsible (Amalgam) for the threat that has troubled his kingdom will recieve one wish. Each maid-witch in the game has their own unique look, personality, and story as well as a magical pet that flies alongside them. There are a handful of modes, and even extras to unlock as you play through this anime styled shoot 'em up. I do believe there's a maid-witch that all anime, and shmup fans will definitely be able to call their favorite in this game. If you're looking for a cute, and stylish anime shmup then this might just be the one you've been looking for ...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crimson Alliance 'Vengeance Pack' DLC Coming Oct. 12, 2011!!!

Tim Fields of Certain Affinity recently contacted me about some new 'Crimson Alliance' DLC that's going to be released! I'm quite excited about this as I'm sure some of you will be. I recently reviewed this game, so you can check out my review if you want to know what the core game is about. The 'Vengeance Pack' DLC that will be released on Oct. 12 will cost 240 msp ($3). It will contain a new multiplayer campaign featuring two new threats as well as new enemy types. The DLC will also include a challenge map called 'Fistful of Coins' which will put the player up against increasingly more difficult enemies for a serious amount of gold. I'm definitely looking forward to it, and I know some of my friends will be as well.

Devil Blood (XBLIG): "A Blood Red Dance With The Devil"

Devil Blood is a 3D corridor shooter with gameplay that is similar to that of Doom, and Wolfenstein. This unique, and blood red take on the genre was developed by 'thelostone'. If you have ever played games on Nintendo's Virtual Boy console then you'll be prepared for what you witness when you start playing this game. Everything in the game is literally a different shade of red, and features different textures. You take on the role of a hero who is destined to kill all of the demons in the Nethermorne Citadel. With your Bane Rifle, Hellfire Shotgun, Runes, and Magic spells it's your duty to rid the place of it's hellish haunts.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Poopocalypse (XBLIG): "Peeved Pigeon Takes A Poop"

Poopocalypse was featured as one of my earlier reviews, but I wanted to go back and do a proper review of it. My initial review just didn't suit my current writing style. I'm sure most of you have either heard of, or played this wacky pigeon pooping game but if you haven't you then you definitely should. Wolpertinger is the developer of this rather unique game that features a peeved pigeon who takes revenge on the world, because there was a 'no feeding the pigeons' posted in his park. If you have seen the intro to the game then you know that this is one hefty pigeon, so you could probably understand his issue with the no feeding policy. Our feathered friend decides to exact his revenge by taking a dump on everyone, and everything. What ensues is a hilarious dual thumbstick shooter where the goal is to coat the world in crap.

The Fall of Gods (XBLIG): "An Epic Chapter Based Action RPG"

The Fall of Gods is an XBLIG action RPG that follows an epic tale of good versus evil. The story unfolds through panel style artwork, and is very similar to the biblical tale of Genesis. There are some noticable differences though. This tale involves 9 Gods who each have different views on how things should be created. Esther is the God who creates man, and woman but encounters interfernce from the other 8 Gods regarding her plans for mankind. Another difference in the tale invovled mankind being given free will to create as they pleased. This event ended in the creation of man-like creature hybrids. The entire creation process began with darkness, and was ultimately halted by it as well. When the 9 Gods faced this evil threat (the darkness) it came at a high price which nearly destroyed everything they created, and them as well. Using the last of her powers Esther once again breathed life into her creation (mankind), and gave him the ability to use magic. Following this the Gods fell into a long slumber, and the world was slowly reborn from the aftermath of the Gods' war against darkness. When the game begins, Heric the descendent of the man Esther breathed life into finds himself to be the world's only hope against the incoming darkness. He yields the same magic that his ancestor once did, and must utilize his powers for mankind's sake. He is guided by a helper that Esther has sent along with him on this journey to face the darkness.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tunnelvision (XBLIG): "A Visually Stunning 3D Shmup Masterpiece"

By now most of you know that I'm really into the shmup (shoot 'em up) game genre. I have even reviewed some shmups here on this blog. A couple of days ago I found a video of a new XBLIG shmup that was going to be released on the Xbox Marketplace. The shmup was titled 'Tunnelvision', and it was developed by 'Team Stendec'. The cool thing about this shmup is that it took the genre in a new direction with some visually impressive 3D graphics. The video I watched on youtube actually didn't do the game justice though. When I played the game for the first time I was totally amazed by the lighting, and 3D effects. The gameplay was easy to pick up on, and involved a lot more game elements than I had initially thought it would feature. There are 9 mission based levels that get progressively more difficult as you play, and as the title suggests the playing fields are located in tunnels. There are also end level bosses called 'Level Lords' that must be defeated in order to continue. For the score hounds out there the game does feature a highscore leaderboard, but I think it's only local. Overall I found the playthrough to be an amazing experience, and quite challenging at times.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Avatar Fighter Online (XBLIG): "A Solid Avatar Based Fighting Game With An Unfortunate Downside"

I absolutely love Xbox 360 avatars! Since I first got my Xbox 360 earlier this year I've had a lot of fun spending time making my avatar a personal reflection of myself. When I first began doing XBLIG game reviews here on my review blog I noticed that there were quite a number of avatar based indie games available. You could find FPS versions, games that involve aerial combat, and even a game based on hackey sack (which I reviewed not too long ago). When I noticed that 'Bwoot Games' was going to release an avatar based fighting game I knew I had to get this game for review. I not only wanted to see how it stacked up against mainstream fighters for myself, but I also wanted to let (you) my readers know as well. I have quite a few readers/friends who enjoy fighting games just as much as I do, and I'm pretty sure they're probably just curious as I was.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 (XBLA)

When it comes to the trading card game of 'Magic the Gathering (MTG)' I am no stranger. I actually collected, and played MTG years back with a friend. What always held my interest was the artwork on each, and every card. The art really brings the game to life, and makes imagining a fantasy duel much easier. Without the artwork I honestly think that MTG would have failed years ago, but thankfully they decided to to include the mini-masterpieces on the cards. 'MTG: duels of the Planeswalkers 2012' keeps true to everything the trading card version stood for, and brings it to digital life in a truly amazing way. The game features very detailed customization options as well as lots of unlockable content (via in-game & xbox live marketplace). Wizards of the Coast/Stainless Games (the developer) even went so far as to include the premium holographic cards that veteran fans of the game will likely recognize. Everything about this game is done in great quality. It even opens with an epic cinematic scene that would put most video games to shame. Throughout the entire game there are artistic images of the paintings that adorn the MTG cards. It's eye candy at it's best with quality gameplay that doesn't dilute the core values that 'Wizards of the Coast' set out to achieve.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pinball FX2 (XBLA): "Ms. Splosion Man"

The 'Ms. Splosion Man' Pinball FX2 table was a joint effort between Zen Studios, and Twisted Pixel. It is my absolute favorite out of all of the tables in the Pinball FX2 library. I do realize it looks like it's geared more towards the female gamers, but I think it's really fun. The table definitely seems to have way more going on than any of the previous ones. It features a cool music soundtrack, vivid colors, and constant hilarious commentary/actions by Ms. Splosion Man herself. The table's setup is layed out just right so you can achieve some really high scores fairly easily. I currently have a highscore of 134 million points on this table which actually pales in comparison to a friend's score of close to 600 million points. I have played this table numerous times, and always go back for more. I'm hoping to get a highscore of at least 1 billion someday ...

Pinball FX2 (XBLA): "Captain America"

The Captain America Pinball FX2 table is one of the best decorated out of the currently available Marvel Pinball tables. If features a very patriotic theme with the Captain front, and center as the tables primary illustration. Accompanying him on this table are 3D models of Baron Zemo, Red Skull, and the Sleeper. Each of the villains has a unique objective that can be completed to score more points. Red Skull goes fist to fist with Captain America in a sparring bout. Baron Zemo actually has a couple of objectives on this table. One of his objectives involves destroying canisters of 'Adhesive X'. The other involves trying to survive his 'Death Ray' by hitting the cluster of bumpers on the left side of the table. The ramps on this table sport a trench style appearance, and are somewhat difficult to access. I found that changing the view to '2' helps out greatly in hitting the ramps just right though.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Angry Fish (XBLIG): "Fishy Feline Fray"

If you have ever played Angry Birds, or games from the Fish Craft XBLIG series then you'll definitely be familiar with this game. Angry Fish is actually a sequel to the Fish Craft series, and was developed by Frozen Software. In this game you take on the role of some fish who are tired of the cats crapping all over their volleyball court. Actually that's what I interpreted from the visual intro (Lol! ^.^). I came to this conclusion, because there were piles of squat littering the the beach that fishes were playing volleyball on. The cat in the intro picture also had a mischievious grin on his face which further supports my hypothesis. Angry Fish features 2 levels with 21 stages each that involve epic kitty smiting. Each level has a different background theme with a night, and day version. There is also an epic orchestral tune playing as you're trying to take out the furry fiends. Your objective in the game is to launch fish from a cannon, and take out the barriers (boards, stone, glass ...) that are housing your feline foes ultimately annihilating them. How quickly/efficiently you take out the structures, and cats will determine your ranking (1-3 stars) and score for each stage.

Pinball FX2 (XBLA): "Fantastic Four"

I have collected, and read many comic books in my lifetime, but the Fantastic Four series wasn't really one of them. I am quite familiar with the characters involved as well as their backgrounds, but I wasn't quite impressed with their story arc. Not too long ago the Marvel Zombies series came out and involved this famous team of four. It followed their discovery of an alternate earth where all of the superheroes/supervillains were zombies. I know that topic is not really related to this table, but I thought I'd share a little comic book knowledge with you guys. I also mention the Marvel Zombies bit, because it did spark my interest in the Fantastic Four team just for a while. If you have ever read the Fantastic Four comic book series, or even watched the movies then you might just be interested in this brilliantly designed Pinball FX2 table ...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pinball FX2 (XBLA): "MARVEL Pinball"

Back in the day when I was still a PS3 gamer I owned the Marvel Pinball tables for 'Zen Pinball'. Unfortunately when I changed consoles I lost all of the DLC I had as well as the games I had purchased. I was definitely glad to learn that Zen Studios (the developer) had released the same tables on the Xbox 360. In my recent quest for review material I contacted Zen Studios in hopes for getting some tables for review. They gladly accepted my offer which I was extremely grateful for. I had a reason for my request, and it wasn't to score free tables either. I thought reviewing Pinball FX2 tables would make for a unique type of review, and present a writing challenge as well. If you know me then you realize how much I love a good challenge no matter what it may be. The following Pinball FX2 reviews will hopefully show off my knowledge of all the things I know about pinball as well as the themes they are based on.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dead Pixels (XBLIG): "An 8-Bit Tribute To All Things Zombie"

CantStrafeRight released their 8-bit zombie title 'Dead Pixels' on the Xbox Live Marketplace today. I had watched trailers of this game a little while back on youtube, and I was really impressed with what I saw. They also uploaded the launch trailer which showcased even more of this impressive action rpg zombie title for those who may be interested in learning more about the game. After watching the launch trailer I was very anxious to get my review started. As a horror fan this game definitely appealed to me. When I was through downlading 'Dead Pixels' (which took less than a minute ^.^) I ended up spending a couple of hours doing a playthrough of it. During my playthrough I was amazed at how many easter eggs (hidden references) related to zombie movies, and video games CantStrafeRight had included. I recognized all of the names assigned to stores, and guns throughout the game's entire length. I absolutely loved it. It was like a horror fan's dream game. The fact that the game was done in 8-bit graphics with a grindhouse look made it even more awesome. CantStrafeRight added grindhouse intermissions, and an intro that you'll likely recognize from Quentin Tarantino movies. This game was covered with eye candy galore from beginning to end, and it featured solid gameplay as well.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Get To Tha Choppa Twooo!!2 (XBLIG): "A Hot Chick, Zombies & Explosive Fast Paced Action!!"

I've really began to like this new genre of running themed indie games. I've reviewed a couple of them here on OtakuDante's Gaming Inferno (Rainbow Runner & The Jump Hero), and I've really enjoyed playing them. Recently SoSoDev released their second game in this genre of indies called 'Get To Tha Choppa Twooo!!2'. I had never played or even watched a video trailer of their first installment of the series, but if it was anything like this sequel then I'd be up for playing it as well. I'm a score junkie, and any game that has global scoreboards is awesome in my book. This game not only has a global scoreboard, but it delivers a quality experience with it's hand drawn visuals and beat based soundtrack.

GOOLIN (XBLIG): "A Challenging Four Part Japanese Puzzle Game"

Luckysoft recently released their XBLIG mini-game called 'GOOLIN', and made a special request for me to review it. I hardly ever recieve requests from developers, but It's definitely a pleasant surprise when I do. When I got the review code from Luckysoft I actually had no idea what the game was about, but I had taken a quick look at it on the Xbox Live Marketplace earlier. After downloading the game, and actually winning with a level 'B' rank I felt like I had really accomplished something. Goolin is a unique puzzle game that involves a gymnast, a spaceship and a giant robot. Your objective isn't just given to you, but there are some hints in the help menu that kind of explain what's going on. Solving the puzzle/riddle is what this game is all about, and I found that it was quite a challenging feat to do so.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Crimson Alliance (XBLA): "An Awesome Arcade Style RPG With Co-op"

Crimson Alliance is the first mainstream XBLA RPG I've had the privilage to review here on OtakuDante's Gaming Inferno. I was definitely excited when I got the response from Certain Affinity about the review code for their game. I've been rather fortunate when it comes to all of the game developers who have contributed review codes to my blog, and I'm thankful that Certain Affinity gave me this opportunity to prove myself as a worthy RPG reviewer. I know some of my new readers may not know it, but I'm a pretty serious RPG gamer. I have completed numerous RPGs on several different consoles including handheld systems. Getting the opportunity to do a playthrough of Crimson Alliance, and give my opinion on it was definitely a great experience.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Moe Mekuri 2 CONTEST!!! (CLOSED)

It's time for another contest! This time around the prize is a bit more expensive (240 msp)! The code I'll be giving away is of 'Moe Mekuri 2' a Japanese puzzle game by KoheiGallery. If you haven't checked out my review of the game already you might want to do so now. I actually had fun trying to solve the rather difficult puzzles of 'Moe Mekuri 2', and if you like a good challenge (and cute anime girls) then this contest might just be what you've been looking for. I had purchased the game with my own money before KoheiGallery gave me the code, so my loss is your gain (if you win).

SkyDrift (XBLA): "Aerial Arcade Combat Racing"

SkyDrift is the second XBLA game that I have requested for review. It was recently released on the Xbox Live Marketplace by Digital Reality, the developer of the game. I'm actually familiar with racing games of all types, and have enjoyed playing many different types in my gaming career. If you've ever played games like 'F-Zero GX (GameCube)', or 'Mario Kart (SNES, GameCube, Wii)' then you'll understand what this game is all about. Aside from the similarities of the previously mentioned titles, this game is unique in that it uses combat planes as the racing vehicles. The game features a campaign, and multiplayer mode with a wide variety of tracks/areas to race in. This high speed aerial combat racer also features various types of gameplay that includes speed runs, and power races with the option of difficulty settings. The maps/tracks in the game are detailed with impressive graphics, and accented with a rocking soundtrack. It's included achievements, and badges add some goals into the mix. It's definitely a racing game that I have enjoyed playing.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

BloodRayne: Betrayal (XBLA): "A Game That Will Have You Seeing Red"

Majesco recently released their third installment of the BloodRayne video game series on the Xbox Live Marketplace. This newest game titled 'BloodRayne: Betrayal' is different from the 3D styled games you may have played previously. Majesco's decision to make the game into a 2D platformer definitely appealed to me. I love 2D platformers, and the cel-shaded anime style they chose to go with caught my undivided attention. As far as the story goes, I'm not quite sure if this is a continuation or not since I have never had the opportunity to play the other games in the series. It did seem like there were some story elements that suggested that the plot was connected though. If you've played BloodRayne, or BloodRayne 2 then you'll likely be familiar with what is going on despite the change to 2D gameplay.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Moe Mekuri 2 (XBLIG): "Cute Anime Girls + Hardcore Puzzle Gaming"

KoheiGallery, the developer of the Moe Mekuri XBLIG series recently released their latest game titled 'Moe Mekuri 2'. For those of you who have no clue as to what 'Moe' is, it's basically a slang Japanese term that means "an attraction to characters such as in anime, manga, and video games. This unique puzzle game definitely displays the characteristics of a 'Moe' title. Within the game you'll get to unlock pictures of all the cute anime girls as you earn them by completing the various puzzles. I have never actually played a puzzle game like this, and I found that it actually takes a lot of thinking to solve. If you think you're going to get by with guessing your way through, you can expect to spend a lot of time doing so. It's like trying to figure out a locker combination that has multiple numbers. Just consider the possibilities of a combination with a 3 number code, and you'll get the picture.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

TAKE ARMS (XBLIG): "Like CoD, But Not Quite ..."

If you have ever wondered what Call of Duty would look like in 2D, then Discord Games (the developer) has your answer. Their game which is titled 'Take Arms' uses everything that made the CoD series great, and combines it with level designs that look like the 'Castlevania' style games. This game features both an offline, and online multiplayer that is likely to become a strong point in XBLIG gaming when it catches on. It features three modes of play that made games like CoD shine (Deathmatch, Team DM, CTF). You also get three soldier classes to choose from with their own weapons, and two different costumes (Red, Green). If you've ever enjoyed playing a Call of Duty (CoD) game, and you like indie games as well then I do believe you'll enjoy this game.

Head Shot God (XBLIG): "Epic Lighting Smiting"

Head Shot God is the 4th installment of Silver Dollar Game's 'Head Shot' series. I didn't get a chance to play the earlier Head Shot titles, but 'Head Shot God' looked like my kind of game. The game seems to feature The famous lightning chucking Zeus, but it could also be interpreted as the Christian God. As Zeus, or whomever deity it might be, your goal is to smite certain people as the wander aimlessly across your television screen. The game features two modes of play (Normal & Sniper). Each mode has their own rules, but smiting the helpless humans is always the main goal.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chester (XBLIG): "A Totally Sweet Tribute to the Games of Old"

I like it when a developer decides to make a game that's unique. It's not often that I see a game such as 'Chester' that has it's own artistic style as well as pays tribute to classic games. Brilliant Blue-G, the developer of this artistic masterpiece brought the game to life with a style that looks as if it was inspired by the art of Tim Burton, and Dr. Seuss. I was truly impressed with the artistic touch Brilliant Blue-G applied to this game. The gameplay was also fun, and featured very involved platform game mechanics.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rock of Ages (XBLA): "Epic Boulder Rolling Fun Spanning The Ages"

I consider myself both lucky, and blessed for having the chance to review Atlus's/ACE Team's new game, 'Rock of Ages'. I recently decided to step up my game in the reviewing business, and seek out the approval of XBLA developers. I'm always up for broadening my horizens when it comes to reviewing, and doing just XBLIG titles wasn't satisfying my desire to expand my gaming knowledge further. When I contacted ACE Team about reviewing this game they accepted my request, and were truly friendly about it. Getting to know developers such as that, even if it is only through brief messages makes what I do worth the while. To be 100% honest though, I had no clue what 'Rock of Ages' was truly about when I made the request. I had a vague idea after watching the youtube trailer, but the trailer doesn't do the game justice. It's much better than the short footage you get to see in the video. I'd go so far as to say that ACE Team, and Atlus have created one of the best games I have ever played. It was definitely a privilege to get to play through, and review this game.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kobold's Quest (XBLIG): "Invasion Of The Baby Snatchers!"

As an XBLIG/XBLA reviewer I often times take it upon myself to seek out the most unique (and sometimes odd) game titles out there for my readers. I think it's the obsucre, and newer game ideas that really make the gaming industry shine. Kobold's Quest a game that was developed by 'Sucker Free Games (SFG)' really fit that description. This game takes stealth, and the art of sneakery to a totally new level. Instead of seeking treasure, or trying to annihilate your enemies ninja style you play the role of a Kobold (a gremlin/gargoyle like creature) who must nab the villager's babies to satisfy the Kobold Commander's insatiable hunger.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chain Crusher (XBLIG): "A Simple Yet Quite Challenging Shmup"

I've been very fortunate lately to get the support of several developers from the XBLIG, and XBLA community. Micky G. Albert (Mindware Corp./Japan) was one of the few developers that actually sought me out for reviews. I feel honored to have such talented developers contact me, wanting me to review their games. It must mean I'm doing something right. Mindware Corp. (Micky G. Albert) recently released their XBLIG title 'Chain Crusher'. They had contacted me earlier this month letting me know about the new shmup they were going to release. Being the shmup fan that I am I was anxious to see what it was all about ...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Astro Cluster + invAIders XBLIG Code Contest (CLOSED)

Skoddle the developer of 'Astro Cluster', and Martian Face Games the developer of 'invAIders' recently gave me some codes to giveaway to my readers/followers. I have already given away two of the 'Astro Cluster' codes here on the site, but I have one left. I also have 4 'invAIders' codes to giveaway. I decided to do the contest through my youtube channel this time around, but since some of my readers/followers don't have a youtube channel I decided to allow comments on this blog post as well.

The rules of the contest are simple. All I want you to do is tell me about something impressive you have done in a video game. The more impressive the better your odds of winning will be. The contest will end this friday (Sept. 2). On Saturday I will read through all of the entries/comments, and decide on my 5 winners. The most impressive comment/entry will get their choice of either the Astro Cluster code, or one of the invAIders codes. The remaining winners will get what's left over. Remember to leave your Twitter Username if you enter here on my blog ;)

*NOTE* You Can Enter Here On The Blog/Under This Post, or On My Youtube Video That's On MY Youtube Channel: Youtube Astro Cluster + invAIders Contest

I wish all of my followers/readers the best of luck!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Jump Hero (XBLIG): "Trippy Speed Jumping Fun"

Before I give my review I would like to warn gamers who are sensitive to flashy lights/pictures. This game has an immense amount of flashing colors, and lights so do be careful if you choose to play it.

I have actually been anxiously awaiting this game's release since I watched the developer's trailer of it. The gameplay reminded me a lot of 'Rainbow Runner' which I had reviewed earlier this year. What really caught my attention though was the dancing girl in the background (I'm no perv ^.^). It just looked really cool to me. The game is quite simple, but it definitely requires some quick reflexes and skill. There are several different levels in the game that weren't shown in the trailer, and they were all very cool. The main goal of the game is to jump, and fly across building like towers. This simple sounding feat is anything but that. You will encounter triangles, circles, and walls that will take away your lives. You will also face the possibility of falling into oblivion. This unique XBLIG title by 'Silver Dollar Games' will likely have you playing for hours. The fact that you can share the experience with friends using a single controller deepens the gaming experience.

T.E.C. 3001 (XBLIG): "Virtual Reality Presented In A Most Excellent Way"

I realize that I have bragged on almost every game I have reviewed (and those titles definitely deserve the praise), but 'T.E.C. 3001 really takes the cake. This virtual reality based parkour style game seriously delivers on many levels. The visual presentation is both crisp, and features XBLA worthy graphics/gameplay. In fact it truly puzzles me as to why this game didn't make it into the XBLA game library? Whatever the case may be I bet future buyers of this game will likely be happy with it's place in the XBLIG kingdom. It definitely means you're getting more bang for your buck (or microsoft points in this case).

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cute Things Dying Violently (XBLIG): "A Serious Puzzle Game With A Lot Of Humor"

ApathyWorks is the developer behind this morbidly hilarious XBLIG title. I could not stop laughing as the little blue dudes used 4 letter words just before meeting their untimely demise. Does that make me a bad person??? At one point I could have even sworn I heard a girl's voice come from one of the little dudes that said something naughty. Handling the little blue guys will definitely get you called a pervert & such in this game. Cute Things Dying Violently will have you laughing for sure before it's all said, and done. If your more of the serious type though you can tone down the vulgarities, and focus on the puzzles that really make this game unique. The game features both singleplayer, and multiplayer modes for a good variety of gameplay. A level editor is also available for those diabolical geniuses who can't wait to construct a torturous level for the poor little blue fellows. Whatever your preferred method of play may be in this game I can assure you that there will be blood ...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

After Dusk (XBLIG): "A Pixelated Sci-fi/Horror Survival Platformer"

Nowadays you will notice a lot of copies when it comes to new games, or even movies. This was not the case with 'After Dusk'. I was greatly impressed by Rickettz Studio's (aka, Angel Of Osmond's) new XBLIG title 'After Dusk'. The gameplay which revolves around the absence/lack of light, is presented in a totally new way. I have never seen a platformer use the pixelated darkness the way Rickettz Studios has. The game's pixelated design also seems unique to other indie platformers I have reviewed. The story/plot of 'After Dusk' is epic, and not overwhelming. Rickettz Studios did an excellent job in every aspect of this game.

Space Bat (XBLIG): "Retro-Style Brick Breaking Fun!"

I've probably mentioned this more than once, but I have played many different types of games throughout my gaming career. Among those games I've played various types of brick breaking games. If you're a PC gamer you probably have as well. Dont Press X, the developer of 'Space Bat' has redefined that genre of games with a game that pays total homage to a few retro classics. This take on the brick breaking (arkanoid/breakout) features an invaders/galaxian theme, with pac-man as the ball. Space Bat even takes the sound effects from those classic titles, and incorporates them into the gameplay. This is truly one of the best brick breaking titles out there, and the retro elements really make this game stand out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

invAIders (XBLIG): "Puts the AI in Invaders"

I was recently contacted by Martian Face Games about doing a review on their new XBLIG title 'invAIders'. I had actually passed up asking for a review code on this game, because I didn't know what it was really about. I'm definitely glad that Martian Face Games contacted me. After playing a couple of hours worth of the game I was truly impressed. This game really sports the 'AI (Artificial Intelligence)' game mechanics that the game's title suggests. As you play you'll find that the enemy ships adapt in very intelligent ways in order to defeat you in the easiest possible way. There are to modes of gameplay in this shmup, as well as an AI reset in case you wish to start over from scratch.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Astro Cluster XBLIG Code Contest 2!!!

I'm a huge fighting game fanatic as most of you know by now, so I thought I'd incorporate that interest of mine into today's contest. Like I mentioned before, this will be different from the trivia based contest of yesterday. The contest will also last until 8pm EST tonight. All you have to do to win the Astro Cluster Code is name the most fighting games. These can be from any console, arcade, or even imports. Only 1 comment per person will be allowed. In the event of a tie, I will decide on a tie-breaker to decide the winner. I wish all my readers the best of luck! Let The Game Begin!!! ...

*NOTE* Leave your Twitter username in the comment so I have a way to contact you if you win. The winner can join @Skoddle, myself, and some fellow reviewers/gamers for an Astro Cluster game night this coming Saturday at 8pm EST/EDT. Contact @Skoddle through Twitter to find out details on the game night, and to let him know you would like to join in. If you buy the game you can also join in, just let us know that you want to. The more players we have the better!

Lucky Game (XBLIG): "Golf + Slot Machines = Lots Of Luck"

In my years as a gamer I have played about every type of video game you could imagine. I've even enjoyed the occassional solitaire card game on my PC. Once in my life I even played the digital slot machines at a casino. Lucky Soft the developers of 'Lucky Game' brought this simple, and legal pleasure of gambling to the Xbox 360 console. This XBLIG game features a new twist on the already random slot machine style of gaming. If your into the casino scene then this type of game might be for you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Raventhorne (XBLIG): "Norse Mythology For The New Age"

Milkstone Studios, a very well known XBLIG developer recently released 'Raventhorne' on the Xbox Live Marketplace. This very unique, and beautifully rendered game is based on the Norse mythology surrounding the event called Ragnarok. For those of you who have never read or heard of Ragnarok, it is basically an end of the world scenario where all the Norse Gods will die in a battle against some mythological dieties/creatures. It's an all out war to until the very end. If you ever get a chance to visit the library I definitely suggest checking out some literature on the subject. It makes for some very fun reading. Milkstone's version of the event isn't a direct literature to game translation, but I found this to only enhance the quality of the game. Copying an old myth would only make things dull. Milkstone brings this Norse tale to life in an epic way that's worthy of the mythology it's based on.

Motorbike Stunt Agent Julie (

Very rarely do I get so involved in playing a low budget game that I can't stop playing through it. Motorbike Stunt Agent Julie will most likely be one of those diamonds in the rough that gamers will pass up, but I'm here to tell you this game is hot!!! While it looks simple in the screenshots, and gameplay videos this game has so much more to it. I know by this point I'm probably sounding like I'm trying to sell the game for the developer, but I promise you this is not the case. When I first layed eyes on this game I thought to myself this might be mediocre, but I was way wrong.

Astro Cluster XBLIG Game Code Contest 1!!!

Skoddle, the developer of 'Astro Cluster' has given me 3 codes for the full game to giveaway to 3 of my readers. Those of you who have followed my blog probably know that I love to do trivia based contests. This time around only one of the game codes will be given away through trivia though. The remaing two codes will require different methods for entry. I will begin with the trivia based contest first ...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Inferno! (XBLIG): "A True Tribute To Classic Gaming"

Most likely those who read my review blog have either played, or owned some of the Sega Genesis games. Inferno! takes all the retro gaming goodness from that era in gaming, and presents it in a new way. If I had to compare this game with another it would be something along the lines of PAC-MAN, and a shmup combined. The music in the game pays homage to classic games such as the megaman series. The passcode system that allows you to continue where you left off was also used in games back then. After playing the game for a while I was quite impressed with what I experienced.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pajamorama (XBLIG): "Something Borrowed, Something New ..."

By now most of you who have followed my tweets, watched my youtube gameplay videos, or read my reviews here have learned that I love fighting games. Most of you probably aren't aware of how extensive my fighting game history is though. I have played about every fighting game series that has been released, and even some import titles. I'm a long time Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat player as well. I love new fighting game concepts even if they are low budget productions. It's nice to see indie game developers such as Dannobot Games take an interest in making unique fighting game experiences such as 'Pajamorama'. This fighting game actually features hand drawn art by Dan Manning (dannobot games), and music by Mike Cecelski. While the game isn't Street Fighter it does offer a fun gaming experience plus some extras that alot of the XBLIG titles are without these days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kick'n It (XBLIG): "Hacky Sack Avatar Style!!!"

Kick'n It! Is a score based hacky sack game that uses the gamers Xbox Live avatars. It was created, and developed by Brent Kollmansberger of K-dog Games. You might recognize some of Brent's contributions to the gaming communtiy through titles he worked on such as Klingon Academy,  Ultimate Spiderman, 007 Quantum of Solace, and Transformers Revenge of the Fallen. He previously worked for Activision's Luxoflux studios, but started K-dog Studio after it's closure. His debut XBLIG title Kick'n It! takes everything about hacky sack, and makes a fun game that a gamer can enjoy alone or with friends/family. This trick based game features several modes of play in both single, and 2 player modes. The score based gameplay adds a competitive edge that will make for some decent competition between players. You'll also find that the game is accented by beautifully rendered, photo-realistic landscapes and monuments. This game offers a solid package of fun with a high replay value.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blow Me Up (XBLIG): "An Explosive Experiment In Love/Hate Relationships"

I'll begin by saying that this game is a bit on the 'mature' side of things. Not only does it involve a blow-up doll, but the messages the doll sends you are a bit on the naughty side of things. I wouldn't say it was straight out, in-your-face kind of stuff but it'll definitely be obvious to the older gamers. This game involves a rather odd looking little dude, a pig, and a blow-up doll who have unwillingly been subjected to someone's cruel experiments. There are 30 levels of explosive, and bloody gameplay that invloves the little guy getting blown up from one point to the next. To win you must launch the little dude across obstacles to get him to a pool of water. His pet pig also plays a role where blowing up chickens, and cows is required. The ultimate goal is to reunite with your lost companions, and score a 3 star rating on each of the game's levels if at all possible.