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Trials of the Gauntlet :- PC Gaming Review

In Trials of the Gauntlet, You wake up in the courtyard of a Steampunk mansion, your arm replaced with an electric grappling hook. You use your new arm to solve puzzles, traverse the mansion and fight your way to the top of the clock tower where you confront the mad scientist who did this to you.

 

 

Trials of the Gauntlet from Broken Dinosaur Studios, a studio formed by students of Full Sail University, is a midterm project for Game Development that has been released as a full game.  The setting of the game is a Steampunk mansion, where your character awakens with a grappling hook where one of their arms should be and proceeds to enter the mansion to find the scientist that performed the mad experiment on you.

 

 

Gameplay consists of traversing the mansion in an upward fashion, largely using your grappling hook to do so.  The grappling hook has another function: an electric hook which is used to activate some electronics and slow down enemies so you can bash them with your other arm.

 

The graphic style is decidedly retro with large pixels eschewing the need for a lot of detail.  The art of the game isn’t bad – but it’s nothing amazing either – with fairly generic looking bad guys and environments.  Due to the nature of the project (being a school project) it was developed in a limited time frame and so some of the animations feel a bit floaty at times, with the character and enemies feeling somewhat out of place when moving.

 

 

I found the controls of the game to be quite fiddly and using the grappling hook was more cumbersome than fun, which is not a particularly good trait for your main game mechanic, and like most aspects of the game it was largely forgettable.

 

Overall, the game feels very much like the school project that it is.  The runtime of the game is estimated at 90 minutes, but glitches and bugs are frequent, which the developers are aware of – again, due to the limited timeframe for development, only critical game breaking bugs were worked on.  Now that the project has been completed the devs can go back and try to neaten up the edges and expand the game, or move on to a new project, but in the current state the game is hard to recommend.

 

Rating 4 / 10

~Sirhc

 

Trials of the Gauntlet is available now on STEAM


June 30th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, PC | No Comments »

Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset :- MMO Expansion Review

For the first time in history, the long-closed borders of Summerset are open to foreigners by decree of Queen Ayrenn. But darkness looms over the ancestral home of the High Elves, and whispers stir of Daedric followers organizing in the shadows. Rally your allies, brave champions. Summerset awaits.

Explore an all-new zone packed with adventure. Join the mysterious Psijic Order and gain powerful new abilities. Reunite with old friends, forge new alliances, and work together to unravel a conspiracy that threatens Tamriel’s very existence.

 

 

Summerset is the newest chapter to the The Elder Scrolls Online, and while it adds much new content, a new crafting skill line and a new skill line focusing on time manipulation from the Psijic order, new mobs, two beautiful zones to explore and an amazing continuation to the main overarching story, it does not do much else, which is a good thing. ZOS stuck with what makes ESO great and avoided trying to reinvent the wheel.

 

 

When I do a review I have one main question I always ask myself and set out to answer. Is this fun? And the answer is a resounding OH HELL YEAH. I have long loved the elder scrolls franchise and I love ESO, but the game is not without its flaws, which is true of all games, but I have to say that Summerset is some of the most fun I have had in a long while in an mmo, from new trash mobs with interesting combat mechanics in the open world too the amazing new coral crab mob designs and the quest stories and writing has gone a long way to making this one of the best expansions yet for ESO.

 

 

Underneath the beauty of the High Elven island lies a darker side, The high elves prejudice against the “lesser races” is on full display, their political intrigues show up in force in Summerset’s main story as it is both a continuation of the Morrowwind Clock Work City story picking up right where it left off with more daedric cults and daedric princes up to no good and a continuation of the Aldmeri dominion’s story lines surrounding queen Ayrenn’s ascension to the throne. The quests diving deeper into the motivations of the characters around you and not simply praising your prowess as a world-class savior brings a human quality to the game that helps you feel more connected and immersed in the game. One example of this is Razum-dar, a long time fan favorite, he is not just another NPC but a friend to the player. As a result, Summerset is both familiar and foreign. The new Public dungeons are a breath of fresh air in how they are designed and some of the new bosses look amazing. The new trial, Cloud rest, has you taking on one to the ancient long thought extinct sloads, a slug devil toad abomination that just wants to smash your face with the help of mind controlled minions and crazy daedric magic.

 

 

Summerset brings a host of new additions to the game, The main story as mentioned previously, 6 new delves, 6 new Fun world bosses, 6 abyssal geysers which function like dolmens. 2 new public dungeons which have farm-able collections that net you prizes such as the new ginger kitten vanity pet. A new trial that can be completed multiple ways. The new psijic order skill line which adds 5 active abilities, a new ultimate, and new passives. It also adds Jewelry crafting which allows you to craft your own jewelry and make set piece jewelry. Both of these new skill lines drastically open up build diversity. The champion point cap was also increased to 750 and the game adds several new interesting gear sets to the game.

 

 

If I had to rate Summerset on a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate it a solid 8, it just does so much right in terms of what an expansion should add to the game but it still has old flaws that still need to be addressed from older versions of the game and class balance & build balance issues that continue to still plague the game.

~Darsch

 

 

The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset is available now on –

STEAM
XBox One
Playstation 4


June 30th, 2018 by Darsch
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

Cultist Simulator Review

Today we are taking a look at Cultist Simulator by Alexis Kennedy and Weather Factory studio, Alexis being notable as the creator of Fallen London and Sunless Seas.

 

 

Now if you’re familiar with Fallen London or Sunless Seas then you’ll have a good idea of what is on offer with Cultist Simulator, essentially a narrative based game based heavily on making decisions, sometimes tough, sometimes easy, but always with purpose. Cultist Simulator however, unlike the other games is a card based strategy game as opposed to the adventure, exploration style of the others.

 

Set in the 1920’s Cultist Simulator puts you in charge of a regular person, one that has been beaten down by the world and lacks purpose, just spending their days working in a soul crushing job, although the open of the game places you on their final day of menial work so you can receive your last pay and start your journey proper.

 

 

Now, the plot of the game is quite difficult to sum up, as the game is basically the next evolution of the choose your own adventure story; so you can drastically shift what will happen based on your choices (even waiting too long to make a choice is in itself a choice that will shift the story and your subsequent choices).

 

The main point of the game is to select an old god (from literary icon H.P. Lovecraft’s work) to worship and base your cult around, and then bringing the old god to the current world to take their rightful place, but how you choose to do this is up to you.
In case you were wondering about the whole “aren’t Cults inherently evil” thing: yes they are. You are the bad guy in this game – but that’s not how you see it, following the will of a higher power and all.

 

 

As a card based strategy game you have a board and cards, sounds simple enough, however as a video game there are plenty of secrets and surprises in store, the more choices you make the more cards appear which means more choices become available to you, after a few minutes of playing you’ll find yourself with a dizzying amount of cards, how do you use the cards though?

 

Well you begin with an “option” slot and resource cards, as you make choices you will receive more option slots, more resource cards and modifier cards, so you can drag a resource card into an appropriate option slot which will create a timer countdown while it processes, during this time you can read other cards, make other plays or if available drag modifier cards into the option to change the outcome.

 

 

As you can have multiple timers counting down at once, you never really are stuck waiting for things – but if you do find yourself wanting to speed things up, there is a speed modifier you can select at the bottom of the screen.

 

One terrifyingly realistic aspect of the game is that in order to survive and continue playing, you must expend wealth cards, this also means that you need to find ways to bring in wealth consistently so you don’t burn through it all, again you have multiple options for this that expand as you play, but your first way is to have your character work, this negatively impacts their health (which is something I can relate to before joining Sanitarium FM of course) so there are always ramifications to your choices, if you work to hard you could deteriorate your health, but if you work too little you could run out of money, in the same fashion there are things you can do that will raise your fame which could make it easier to gain new followers, but it will also make you a target for detectives (however you will need to break laws for the detectives to get any evidence against you) so again you’ll need to find the balance that works for you.

 

These things coupled together make the game surprisingly fast paced and tense, with new cards appearing all the time, some of them also with expiration’s of their own, so you always need to be on top of things if you want your cult to prosper and your god to awaken.

 

What seems like a basic and even boring game at first look is one of the deepest and most manic experiences I have had in a while, if you like H.P Lovecraft, reading, strategy and using your imagination then Cultist Simulator could be just what you’re looking for, the game has also seen fairly frequent updates since release so it looks like you’ll have a lot more options soon too.

 

I’ll leave you with a quote from the developers summing up the game:

 

Become a scholar of the unseen arts. Search your dreams for sanity-twisting rituals. Craft tools and summon spirits. Indoctrinate innocents. Seize your place as the herald of a new age.

 

Cultist Simulator is available NOW on STEAM – https://store.steampowered.com/app/718670/Cultist_Simulator/

 

For more of a look at the game, check out the video review below –

 

The indoctrination has begun, 7/10

 

~TGB_SirhcAndAr0n


June 29th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

PC Gaming Review: Willy Nilly Knight

Willy-Nilly Knight is the great story, based on the legend of King Arthur. Immerse yourself in a single-player, isometric, story-driven RPG with real-time gameplay and turn-based combat, set in the colorful fantasy universe. Will you find the power to save the world in the war of gods? Find your answer.

 

 

Developed by Russian Indie label Double Dice games, Willy Nilly Knight is their first full game release: a single player, isometric, turn-based tactical RPG set in an Arthurian themed fantasy world.

 

The combat in the game is very standard for the S-RPG or T-RPG genre, with each character, ally and enemy alike taking turns to move, attack, use an ability or use an item. All of these actions will use AP – or Action Points – which are displayed at the bottom of the screen, so as long as you have AP remaining you can select any combination of options during your turns.

 

Winning the battles gives you a few items, coins and some experience which goes toward levelling up.  This provides you with an ability skill point to learn or strengthen an ability, and a stat point which you can spend on one of the base stats to improve your character by adding more health, attack, defence, and so on.

 

In between battles you can explore the world, collecting items from hidden (or not so hidden) caches and talk to people for more back story, sometimes picking up a new quest or objective to achieve. The game also has autosave enabled and it creates multiple files so you can reload from an earlier point if you make a mistake, or want to try something else.

 

 

The setting and plot of the game is nothing entirely new as a basic fantasy story taking place within the Arthurian legends. You control Arthur, a boy who wakes up and assumes he is dreaming because the world is fantastical, then pulls a sword from a stone and then proceeds to save a damsel in distress.  You later learn this is your second character Guinevere. Arthur gradually starts his journey, where he finds that the Gods of this world are waging a war and wish to use his power as one of their weapons.

 

The game is somewhat lighthearted in tone with bright colourful characters and locations.  Even the darker dungeon setting is still quite family friendly, with no real violence or offensive content.  It feels like a game that could be enjoyed by a younger player, assuming they have the patience to plan out their battles, as going in guns blazing and just hammering the enemies is not likely to work for long against enemies that match or exceed your own power.

 

 

Overall, Willy Nilly Knight doesn’t really bring anything new to a long standing genre, with familiar settings, story, enemies and battle system – but it does pull them off quite solidly, coming off as a warm, family friendly little adventure.

 

You can check out the video review below too

 

 

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

 

Willy Nilly Knight’s Website

Willy Nilly Knight on Steam


April 5th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, PC | No Comments »

PC Game Review: Verdant Skies

Verdant Skies is a life simulation game born from a love for games like Harvest Moon and a desire to create something unique with modern gameplay and deep storytelling. Ensure the success of the colony as you make friends and pursue romance with a diverse cast of characters.

 

 

Verdant Skies is the latest game brought to us by Howling Moon Software, a small indie developer mostly known for their work in building gaming engines.
However, their true passion (as stated in their bio), is for creating their own game titles such as Verdant Skies.

 

The idea for the game was formed through Beth and Andy Korth (Narrative and Programming respectively)’s mutual love of games such as Harvest Moon, Rune Factory and Animal Crossing; and existed in concept far before going into development May 2014, undergoing a huge change in design and game engine in March 2015, and finally seeing release late 2017.

 

 

The game centers on the character’s avatar – which is fully customizable in gender, skin tone, clothing and accessories – crash landing on a planet (which as luck would have it was their destination already), and starting a new life with a sizeable debt on said planet.

 

The main game mechanic of Verdant Skies, is building, both in terms of harvesting resources to construct new items, and performing tasks for the locals in order to build relationships with them, the end game of which would be to pursue a romantic relationship with the character of your choice.

 

 

This leads me into one of the most pleasant aspects of the game, the inclusiveness. As mentioned above you can customize your character’s gender, you can select the usual male or female, but the game will allow you to use a non-binary selection if you see fit, the same goes for the relationships, with any character being a potential match, assuming you put in enough work in building the relationship with them.

 

Verdant Skies also incorporates a few menu options into the game that further their inclusive leanings, with both options to slow down aspects of the game for people with motor disabilities, and an option to influence the colors in case of color blindness; and it is this level of heart and inclusivity where the game really shines, taking what could be essentially a remake or knock off of a beloved franchise and injecting it with a real sense that the game was crafted by very caring people.

 

 

The music and art of the game (handled by Troy Strand and Lizzie Siemers respectively), are both lovely and fit the overall feel of the game perfectly, with Troy’s music being relaxing, plaintive and occasionally bouncy, but never overbearing; and Lizzie’s hand painted artwork evoking the feeling of exploring a piece of artwork.

 

Overall the game is a very pleasant experience, one that you probably already know if you’d be interested in going on if you are familiar with their chief inspirations already.

 

 

Verdant Skies gets a Barn storming 7/10 from us!  ~TGB-Sirhc

You can also check out some gameplay in our review video here:

You can also check out and buy Verdant Skies on STEAM, and follow them on social media at Twitter & Facebook


March 4th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

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