Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rise of the Ravager (XBLIG)

End of days prophecies, and theories are a dime a dozen these days. You'll find that mankind's history is filled with all sorts of interesting ideas relating to the ultimate demise of the world's population. Things like the wrath of God/gods, death by Mother Nature, Alien invasions, and even the ever popular zombie apocalypse are among the civilization's smiting occurrences that are described through man's many age old teachings. It seems that XBLIG developer Gentleman Squid Studios has also decided to join these majority of theorists, and prophets in order to give their own take on a well known mythological tale of global destruction. Their game Rise of the Ravager uses the Mayan end of days mythology as it's cornerstone reference, and twists it a bit to make a unique interpretation of the devastating events of doomsday. Through shmup style gameplay, and interesting story panel art this high quality developer breathes vivid life into the possible fall of man.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ultimate Dodgeball (XBLIG)

K-Dog Games returns to the indie forefront with one heck of an interesting sports title. Not only is Ultimate Dodgeball a fun, and engaging gaming experience, but people are actually still playing this game online. It's a rarity to find online indies that are still being played weeks after their initial release. A year, or two ago I actually reviewed one of K-Dog Games' sports title that dealt with hacky sack. Just as I found that title to be fun this game also beams with such quality. It features a nice selection of multiplayer oriented gameplay modes, and options to choose from which is always a plus. If you like to play alone then fret not though as Ultimate Dodgeball offers AI oriented matches as well. When I tell you that this game offers more bang for your buck I'm most definitely not lying.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Terraria (PSN)

Most of you reading this review have likely already played the PC version of "Terraria". I unfortunately was never able to sample the supposed greatness that it offered though due to the lack of a proper PC graphics card. After finding out about the console release about 2 weeks ago I decided it was time for me to see exactly what the hype was all about. I wanted to know why it received such high ratings across the board. Before I get started with my review though It's probably best that you know that I've always sucked at Minecraft inspired games. I've never been able to adapt to the complex menu systems, or building options that are made available in those types of game titles. With that being said though I do understand the mechanics well enough to explain them.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Francis Says Fix Xbox Live!!!"

Today a friend of mine (@icecreamdee) took the time out of his day to share with me one of the most hilarious, and very true videos relating to Microsoft's Xbox Live membership practices. Anyone who has ever owned an Xbox 360 knows that a yearly membership fee can add up to a lot in the long run. Not only do you pay retail price for a game, but you also have to pay to be able to play it online. Francis pointed this fact out as well as some other very true statements. I'd like you to look past his rage, and think for a moment about what Francis is saying. He tells it like it is as hilarious as it may be. I think Microsoft definitely needs to reconsider their whole Xbox Live membership policy. Times are tough, and money is tight for a lot of us. Eventually gamers won't be able to continue supporting their Xbox Live gaming hobby. Help spread Francis' word by sharing this article, and video.

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (XBLA)

Believe it, or not this isn't the first time that "Giana Sisters" has made it's debut as a video game. Before Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams was a reality there was a Nintendo DS game that sported a similar title. This game was none other than "Giana Sisters DS". This original title seemed to borrow inspiration from the Super Mario Bros. franchise, and featured some level designs/details that were very similar to those sorts of games. Even the art that accompanied the game seem to further reflect the developer's uncanny tribute based game design. Luckily for us though Black Forest Games picked up the title, re-imagined the gameplay, and made "Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams" a more original experience. Sure it still had the slight super Mario Bros. tribute content from time to time, but it wasn't as "in your face" as it was before. With new gameplay mechanics, and greatly enhanced visuals 'Black Forest Games' has set out to impress it's audience with possibly one of the best platformers released this year.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dollar Dash (PSN): "A Money Grubbing Multiplayer Experience"

Many of you have likely already read reviews on the "XBLA" version of "Dollar Dash", but I'm here to offer the PS3 gamers a review since the game was just released on the Playstation Network. Dollar Dash in essence is a collaborative creation between Kalypso Media, and Candygun Games. You'll likely be familiar with Kalypso's work, because of my previous review. Candygun Games on the other hand might not ring a bell. A couple of years ago, early into my gaming journalism career I reviewed a game called "Dead Block". As you can guess it was 'Candygun Games' who created that interesting zombie survival game. It seems that this developer has once again returned to the gaming scene with their signature animation style, and fun filled gameplay designs. Their latest creation (Dollar Dash) was a bit of a risk taker though. The developer opted to go solely multiplayer with the game, and included no story mode or campaign. I think they had a lot of confidence in their product, but whether or not that payed off is yet to be seen. Regardless of this I'm here to give you the lowdown on this madcap money maker, and intend on being honest with my review. Without further adieu let us get this show on the road!

Alien Spidy (XBLA): "An Intergalactic Web Swinger"

Alien Spidy is a simple yet complex arcade platformer. It utilizes simple controls, and challenging gameplay to entertain the player. At the heart of the game is a brief story that is brought to life through a cinematic 3D intro. This visually interesting tale of space exploration, and a lost love ultimately begins with a line of dialogue that all science fiction fans will recognize. This line of course is none other than the one that starts off every "Star Wars" movie (In a galaxy far, far away ...). Within the 3D spectacle that is the intro the gamer will catch a glimpse of the game's protagonist, 'Spidy' as he waves goodbye to his female companion who is headed to planet Earth. After monitoring her progress for a short while (via an intergalactic control panel) he finds that his female friend has crash landed on the intended destination. In a panic Spidy hops aboard a spaceship, and zooms out into space after her. With a quick, and humorous nod towards the camera Spidy shuttles off towards Earth in hopes of rescuing his lost loved one. This my friends is where the story ends, and the game begins.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Investigate This: Scarecrow! (XBLIG): "A Modern-Day Detective Tale With A Twist"

Guy Galer of Twist-Ed Games never ceases to amaze me with his interactive game creations. After seeing the file size (448+ MB) of his latest XBLIG adventure I new he had poured more into this title than he ever has before. Upon loading it up, and getting into the game I discovered just how true this statement really was. He not only updated his usually impressive CG graphics, and cutscenes, but also added interesting dialogue based references as well as some truly eerie tunes. Looking back On my playthrough I can say with certainty that this XBLIG title's graphics, and presentation rivals some of the better XBLA games that have been released in the past. In essence Guy Galer (The developer) makes an affordable yet very noteworthy game that will interest any open-minded gamer. With that in mind let us move into the bulk of this review ...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds (XBLA) "A Retro Beat 'em Up With Fighting Game Mechanics"

Around 2010 it was announced that video game publisher 5pb, and game developer 7sixty were going to release a 2D fighting game that included characters from various anime, and manga series. Among the included anime, and manga were the popular titles "Steins;Gate", and "Chaos;Head". This extensive fighter was supposedly going to introduce new fighting game mechanics, and was ultimately slated for a release here in the states. Unfortunately due to some issues the developer, and publisher of the game never released it to the US public. Sadly it ended up being a Japan only release.

After 2011, and 2012 passed rumors emerged through various video game related sites that a "Phantom Breaker" spin-off title was scheduled for release on the Xbox 360. It turns out that these rumors were indeed fact, and that a new "Phantom Breaker" was actually on it's way to the US marketplace. Through some research I found out, as most of you likely did that the new "Phantom Breaker", titled "Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds" wasn't going to be the fighter that many of us had hoped for. Instead the new game was going to be a retro styled beat 'em up with fighting game mechanics. The idea sounded off-the-wall to me, but after getting my hands on a review copy I found out otherwise. The game was solid in every aspect, and offered a truly fun experience, the likes of which I haven't seen in a very long time. The new publisher Mages, and developer Division2 have produced a digital product that was definitely worth having regardless of the fact that it isn't the initially scheduled fighting game release.