Monday, January 30, 2012

Diamond Digger (XBLIG): "A Truly Challenging & Entertaining Puzzle Game"

In early 2011 I got the chance to review "The Cannon" by "Elemental Focus (The Developer)". It was a game that used shmup style gameplay in a new, and innovative way. As a reviewer, and gamer I loved their approach to game design. It's always nice to see a game developer who goes out of their way to make something new that gamers like myself haven't seen before. I'm definitely glad to see this developer return once again with a game that's equally as unique as their first. The game I'm speaking of is a puzzle game called "Diamond Digger" that utilizes a greater than, and less than gameplay mechanics. It features a puzzle solving system comparable to "Ro-Sham-Bo", or as you may be more familiar with, "Rock-Paper-Scissors". By basing their game on this basic theme the developer created a game that goes beyond what traditional puzzle based video games such as "Tetris" offer. Their brilliantly designed levels make the player actually think about their objective instead of blindly rushing forward through the game. It's a game that's definitely geared towards the more intellectual gamers out there, but that can be enjoyed by any gamer who wishes to challenge themselves.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Little Racers STREET (XBLIG): "Micro Street Racing At It's Finest!"

There are only a handful of highly recognizable indie game developers on the Xbox LIVE marketplace, and "Milkstone Studios" just happens to be one of those developers. In the past year I've had the privelage of reviewing some of their extremely noteworthy games. They have yet to let me down with any of there releases, and "Little Racers STREET" is no exception to that. This latest top-down racing title has all of the bells, and whistles (features) that you'd expect from an XBLA game, and will possibly have more features added as more purchases of the game are made. I did a thorough playthrough of the game today, and experimented with all of it's features so I could give you (my readers) the lowdown on what the game is all about.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Fall Of Gods (XBLIG): "Code Giveaway!!!" (CLOSED)

It was recently brought to my attention from Stephane Royer of 'Geex Games' that there were some significant changes to "The Fall Of Gods (XBLIG)" game. The most significant of those changes would likely be the price drop. Originally the game was selling for 240 msp, but that has been lowered to 80 msp! There were also some in-game changes that involved movement speed control, a sneak mode, new spells, new items and new animations. Along with this good news Stephane Royer (Geex Games) has also given me one code for the game to be given away to one of my readers. This of course means a contest!!! Stephane actually set the rules for the contest, and as such I will abide by them. The first rule of the contest is you must have downloaded the trial of "The Fall Of Gods (XBLIG)", and have played it. Secondly you must answer a question about the trial version of the game. The first person to reply to this post with the correct answer wins the code. Please be sure to leave your twitter username, or email in the comment so that I can give you your prize. On that mercenary note, let the games begin!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Avatar Grand Prix 2 (XBLIG): "Party Style Multiplayer Racing With Xbox Avatars!"

I've had the opportunity to review a few avatar based games in my time as an XBLIG reviewer, but I think "Avatar Grand Prix 2" is the first racing game of that type that I've had the chance to review. Unknown to most of my online friends I used to play a lot of racing video games including popular titles like "Super Mario Kart", and "Gran Turismo". I'll be honest though, and say that racing games aren't exactly my favorite genre. Whenever I do play them though I kind of enjoy it. They definitely offer a break from the more violent game genres that I play. With that being said I think 'Battenberg Software' did an excellent job in developing/producing this indie game for the Xbox 360. With all the cool features you get with this game it's definitely worth the asking price. You'll be surprised to hear about how good the online mode actually was when I discuss it later on in this review.

Block Zombies! (XBLIG): "A Voxel Zombie Shmup With A Plot Twist"

These days you can find a new zombie based video game for almost any console. They are just like the undying creatures they are based on. For the most part you'll find that most zombie games follow a similar pattern with a horror-survival theme. Some zombie game developers have even taken the shmup (shoot 'em up) route. It's nice to see that there's still room for creativity in the genre though as 'Nostatic Software' has proved with their latest game "Block Zombies". Block Zombies combines both horror-survival elements, and unique objective based shmup style gameplay with a story unlike any zombie game I have witnessed thus far. With that being said I do realize that I'm a little late getting the review out there, and once again it's due to my way of contacting the developer. I still hope you enjoy the review, and that it gives you enough insight on the game to allow you to make an educated decision as to if it's the kind of game you'd like to own or not.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"The State Of Online Gaming"

I have had this topic on my mind for a long while now, but the status of online gaming has really pushed me to do this article now. Many of you know first hand how cheap online gameplay can become. There are kids & adults out there so desperate to win that they'll do so by cheating, hacking, or spamming their way to glory. This is definitely not how games used to be, and I'm seriously beginning to think it will spell doom for the success of video games in the future. The fact of the matter is that about every online game you'll find in the market today is vulnerable to exploits, and hacking. If developers do not figure out a way to secure a game from these "threats" then all hope is gone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Octopede (XBLIG): "Something Borrowed, Something New"

Recently 'Orbital Games' released their XBLIG title "Octopede" on the Xbox LIVE marketplace. I didn't really know much about the game until after the developer contacted me about doing a review. This is the way it sometimes goes. After being contacted I ended up watching some gameplay footage from aaronthesplazer's youtube channel. My first impressions were that the game looked like a new take on the old snake game. I thought it would be something I might enjoy playing. Once I got the code from 'Orbital Games' I downloaded it, and waited until this morning to try it out. I found some interesting gameplay features, and some not so user friendly features. I wound up having to wing it when it came to figuring out the controls to the game, but being the video game master that I am I was able to do so fairly easily. The following paragraph/s will detail what I found while playing "Octopede" ...

Friday, January 13, 2012

AMY (XBLA): "A Stealth Horror-Survival Game"

I followed the progress of "AMY" through trailers on Youtube long before it was released. It was a game that looked very promising to me. In fact I wanted to review it so bad that I sent in my review request early. I had kind of lost hope that I would get a response from 'VectorCell/Lexis Numerique (the developer)' after not hearing from them for an extended period of time. Fortunately I finally got the response I was looking for a day before the game was scheduled to be released. I was truly excited to be honest. After downloading the 1.55 GB game I began my attempt to complete the game, but as it sometimes happens I was unable to do so due to various factors concerning the game's gameplay mechanics. In the end I made it to chapter/level 2, and was unable to complete it. In the following paragraphs I will give you the basic story behind the game as well as the faults I encountered while attempting my playthrough ...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Orbitron Revolution (XBLIG) Gets Some Updates!!!"

I think it's truly awesome when a developer cares enough about their fan base that they are willing to right the wrongs in their game. Last year I've seen a few developers stepping up to the plate with patches, and updates for the XBLIG titles. Some of you may shrug this off, and say "Why Bother" but some of us in the gaming community actually like the indies out there. I think it's just as necessary for an indie developer to create patches as it is for a mainstream video game developer. If you're a gamer, and you pay for a game it should be sorted out properly. I realize at this point that I'm ranting on, but what I told you is a valid point. I was definitely glad/excited to hear that 'Firebase Industries' had made some significant changes to 'Orbitron Revolution'. It definitely needed the update. With that being said 'Orbitron Revolution' was an amazing game to begin with, and is even better now that it has been patched. The visuals, and game design are beyond what you'd think an indie game is capable of. I'm going to give you a link to the developer's website below that details all of the changes you'll find in the latest update. If you already have 'Orbitron Revolution' then the update is free of charge, but if not the update will come with the purchase of the game.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Trailer Park King Ep.2 (XBLIG): "The Redneck Hijinks Continue"

In early 2011 I reviewed a game titled "Trailer Park King" that was developed by 'Freelance Games' for the XBLIG marketplace. It told an adult oriented tale about a self-proclaimed king of a trailer park community named 'Julian (aka, King)'. The art in the game was all original, and featured some very lovely (and half dressed) ladies. The plot of the first game introduced 'King' and some of his wacky acquaintances. It also told the story of how he got accused as Truck's (the bully) killer, and how he cleared his name. I won't spoil all the details of the first game in case you want to check it out, but it's definitely good for some laughs. I was contacted by 'Freelance Games' about reviewing their sequel to 'Trailer Park King' early this month (Jan. 2012). I gladly accepted, and was excited about finding what kind of trouble 'King' would find himself in this time around.

Friday, January 6, 2012

P-3 (XBLIG): "A Petri Dish Based Twin Thumbstick Shmup"

It seems these days that shmups (shoot 'em ups) are becoming a trend in the game development community. I have actually seen quite a few indie game developers creating their own unique take on the shmup genre. I have absolutely no problem with this. In fact I think it's about time some new shmups were released. The fact that the indie games I speak of are really affordable only sweetens the deal. I have recently found a rather impressive version of the top-down/dual thumbstick shmup genre. The indie game I'm talking about is titled "P-3", and was developed by 'BatCat Games'. The game is visually brilliant, and features a defense style gameplay with a sort of scientific plot. As the gamer you get to control a nano-ship, and protect a nucleus from bacteria within a virtual petri dish. That may sound a little strange, but it really isn't.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Attack of the Zombie Horde (XBLIG): "A Top-Down Zombie Survival Shmup"

During my time as an XBLIG reviewer I have seen quite a few takes on the "zombie shmup" genre. Often times I found that the developers who made these games really did the shmup genre justice while others fell short of the mark. At the end of last year 'Attack of the Zombie Horde' was released on the Xbox marketplace by 'Krooked Gaming (the developer)', and I sought it out for review. I had tried my best to get it for review before the year was up, but due to the way I chose to contact 'Krooked Gaming' I was unable to do so. I was definitely glad to get the game for review at the beginning of this year though. When I finally did my playthrough of both of the game's modes I was thoroughly impressed by what I found ...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reviewing 101: "Hints & Tips On Becoming A Reviewer"

I have actually come across a dry spell in my reviews, so I decided I'm going to do my readers a service and offer some tips about reviewing. I've had some friends ask me about the subject recently, so it's the least I could do. I hope that the information I provide on this subject helps all of those who wish to become a respected reviewer ...

Monday, January 2, 2012

End of Days: Infected vs Mercs (XBLIG): "An Affordable & Well Presented FPS With A Zombie Twist"

Nowadays consoles of all types are dominated by some type of FPS title. Whether it's the "Call of Duty" series or "Battlefield 3" you've likely experienced it first hand. Recently 'Sick Kreations' released a $3 FPS shooter titled 'End of Days: Infected vs Mercs' which boldly stood to prove itself against the previously mentioned $60 games. It was presented with all the FPS glory worthy of a CoD (Call of Duty) game, and the back story reminiscent of the 'Resident Evil' series. The game was marketed mainly as an online multiplayer, and supported up to 16 players in three different match types. Like 'CoD', and other FPS out there it featured FFA (Free-For-All), and TDM (Team Deathmatch). One other mode that stood out from the rest was 'Head Fest' in which the characters heads were 2X their normal size, and the goal in it was to make head shots only. With the mysterious plague driven story/intro, and impressive FPS gameplay mechanics I think 'Sick Kreations' made a game that could actually contend with their high end FPS competitors.

T.E.C. 3001 (XBLIG): Press Release Update Info!

In early 2011 I posted a review on "Phoenix Game Studio's (the Developer)" XBLIG title "T.E.C. 3001". It was a brilliantly designed parkour style/virtual reality based game that pushed the boundaries of what an indie game could do. At the end of 2011 I also featured "T.E.C. 3001" as one of my "Top 10" of the year. Today during my routine check for emails I received a message from 'Phoenix Game Studios' about a press release detailing some significant improvements, and new additions to the already impressive game. Below is a list of what you'll find with the latest update: