Thursday, February 23, 2017

88 Heroes (PREVIEW)

Bitmap Bureau's "88 Heroes" for the PS4 is the epitome of 80's geek culture done up in retro gaming fashion. Through deviously difficult gameplay, action packed 2D platforming levels, and 88 playable heroic misfits you'll see various hints of 80's entertainment culture scattered about in pixel form. Character designs included in the generational mash-up mock everything from 80's action and horror movie icons to video game characters from the 8bit era, and even computer references that only geeks will get, among other things. All of which is implemented in a unique theatrical way seen through the televised spy monitor, and commentary inclusive perspective of the game's main villain, "H8". A display in which you control, and use each of the randomly placed 88 heroes as well as their abilities, or lack thereof.

As far as objectives go you have a set time of 88 minutes to get through 88 levels, and stop H8 from doing his devilish deed. There are all sorts of enemies, and environmental hazards to face as you play through one of the games three modes. Those modes being the standard "88 heroes" inclusive playthrough, and two unlockable modes where you tackle the same obstacles with only one (Solo) to eight (Magnificent 8) heroes that are personally selected by you. While the levels themselves aren't randomly generated you will find in the base, and eight character modes that the heroes themselves provide that rogue-like element of surprise. It's an experience that will have you laughing at the ridiculousness of it all as well as crying when you realize how hard it is to beat.

What You Get At The Inferno

Metrics, and analytics across the board pretty much confirm my relevance as a social media influencer. Ranging from an astounding "Top 0.1%" on the former Klout scale to an almost as impressive "Top 5%" on Klear's scale in regards to gaming it is undeniable that what I say, type, or text holds sway in the industry that this blog is centered around. Though numbers on said sites often times may look confusing in relation to said percentages those percentages are not inaccurate. Yes I'm an acknowledged journalist about gaming, and "yes" I'm friendly to those who follow, and engaging with my audience on various social media platforms. I'm even highly knowledgeable about the industry itself, often times giving sound advice to those who would listen. The best advice being made available on the business side of things through my more professional LinkedIn account. While the Inferno might be a humble blog in appearance make no mistake that what is typed in each review is more than what most big sites will ever dare to include. That grand scope of detail including breakdowns of all in-game features sprinkled with a little opinion at the end based on the functionality, and the fun to be had. My opinions, and critiques are not bought out, and are not misleading with college level word play that only detracts from the insight the gamers are seeking. You'll also find no ads, and no monetization efforts here at the Inferno. This is a passion project that is five plus years strong, and growing. A project I would never dare to corrupt with paid for influence. Not clouded by bias, or other peoples' written reviews this blog stands above a lot of the bigger names in content and context.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Vertical Drop Heroes HD (PS4)

Nerdook Productions, the one man indie development studio brings to us yet another addictive, and outright challenging game. This time the game in question is made available on the PS4 console. That game being an HD console port of, "Vertical Drop Heroes". With the charm of games like 'Castle Crashers', and 2D RPG platformers of the retro arcade type this game leans heavily on the age old destined hero trope while making light of the fact that said heroes are not always what they think they are. Death comes often in the adventures taken on by these heroes who come to believe the Tome of Knowledge's myths about a chosen one, damsels in distress, fabled treasure, and formidable foes. While many heroes, and heroines venture out to make a name for themselves not too many ever reach their ultimate goal though. In fact sometimes you'll find it takes descendants of the wannabe savior to finally reach that point of glory, and fame. A final chapter in a never-ending story that starts innocently enough at the Tome of Knowledge, and takes them on a dangerous descent into various environments laden with environmental hazards, enemy lackeys, and gargantuan bosses. Utilizing two assist abilities, a basic weapon attack, and the aid of other captive heroes the chosen protagonist must survive long enough to reach the end of their perilous journey in order to reap the rewards thereafter. Should they fail another hero will no doubt take their place as that fabled protagonist of a tale passed on generation after generation.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Double Dragon IV (PS4)

I'm at a loss for words. I went into my playthrough of Arc System Work's "Double Dragon IV" hoping for an authentic trip down memory lane, but was met instead by "Sucker Punch Simulator 4.0". That's what it felt like. Sure the game took the series' main characters Billy and Jimmy, and followed up half-heartedly with a story that takes place after Double Dragon II's events, but the beefed up gameplay felt intentionally one-sided. I remember the first Double Dragon on the NES being sluggish, but not gang heavy like it is here. In this follow up there's way too many enemies onscreen at a time, especially with the sucker punches flying, and your character's inability to respond quickly to the threats at hand factored in. Not only that, but this latest Double Dragon adventure feels shallow, and without substance. Like a straightforward experience hindered by cheap fights, and cheaply made environmentally hazardous platforming. I'm truly surprised, and not in a good way.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4: Road to Boruto (PS4)

The Naruto anime, and manga franchise has expanded quite a lot since it's initial debut. Most everybody knows of, or has watched the anime. To some it has inspired a sort of character specific cult following, and offered an alternate identity in the worlds of online gaming. To others it has inspired bravery, or perhaps even loyalty. Characters like the outsider turned leader Naruto, and the rebellious man against the machine Sasuke Uchiha are relatable to many youngsters who have similar personalities. While this can be considered a good thing, and a bad thing at the same time there's no doubting the significance of Naruto's relevance in modern day social culture.

I personally watched the entire season one anime on my own time and own dime back in the day, but kind of lost interest down the road when the animation style, and storytelling direction changed. I was very fond of that first season, and it's feels. Like many other fans I could relate to some of the characters in it, and found inspiration from it. As far as the ever expanding video game series goes the last Naruto game I played was admittedly on the Nintendo Wii. I actually enjoyed the combat in it, but never pursued the ongoing series beyond that point. You can imagine my surprise, and excitement when I was selected to review this latest game though. It's been a true trip down memory lane, and hasn't been half bad. Though I did end up favoring the offline portion of the game, the online part ended up hurting my overall opinion of it solely because of the players abusing it. Not because of the game, itself. In the following paragraphs I'll break down the game feature by feature, and tell you why it is I feel the online portion of the game is it's Achille's heel. Let us begin ...

Friday, February 3, 2017

Digimon World: Next Order (PS4)

From the trailers to the box art, and the opening cinematic I thought for certain "Digimon World: Next Order" would be some sort of grand JRPG adventure with game changing character involvement, a deep seeded plot, and an endgame scenario. Instead it is being marketed as a monster training/raising simulator with slight JRPG elements. The game itself starts off as a JRPG would with an interesting interactive cinematic battle that looks like it is going to set the stage for a later climactic encounter between some heroes, and a formidable foe. Past the female, and male protagonist selection though this foe is only hinted at, and lost in what turns out to be a glorified Tomagatchi-like experience. This raising, influencing, and evolving of digital monsters that you are tasked with after the initial loss of your evolved Digimon partners definitely feels like it's a bit lacking. It has you tending to two infantile Digimon who require real-time attention in the form of feeding, discipline, caring, and training. You even have to take these creatures to potty when a poop icon floats above their head. It is a tedious undertaking wrought with sub-par voice acting, and gameplay that is only made intricate by the micro-management menu system that has you doing things for both your character, and your Digimon in a simultaneous or individual sense. As far as plot goes there are objectives, but even those are burdened, and dwarfed by the parenting duties that have been forced upon you.