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PC Game Review :- SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech from Image & Form Games

Lead a party of aspiring heroes through a beautifully hand-drawn world and intense battles using only your wits and a handful of cards. Take on whatever threat comes your way by crafting your own deck choosing from over 100 unique punch-cards!

 

 

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a fun RPG game with an interesting card based gaming mechanic. Starting in a sort of jolly romp in the forest our first of six main heroes are on the search for an item that you battle through various wildlife and a small boss to get to. This serves an interesting tutorial and introduction to the personalities and dynamic between the two characters: Armilly a brash fighter with a heart of steel and Copernica a powerful spellcaster with a passion for discovery. The two bicker in a friendly manner as they exposit about their life, how Armilly wishes to be in the hero’s guild, and basic mechanics of the world explained through lore such as the save points being statues in honor of the mightier warrior Gilgamech. Using these can heal you but at the cost of respawning every enemy in the area, something that can easily be used to grind for experience early on.

 

 

After the tutorial boss you’re expected to have an understanding on the card mechanics but have no fear for they continue to slowly add more to the basic knowledge of a card has it’s attack and abilities with other addons such as elemental bonuses/resistances, character abilities that get triggered when you play three of their specific cards in a turn, and crafting of new cards.

 

 

The story is fairly straight-through with a terrible evil militant force having attacked the town Armilly and Copernica reside in and taking all of the heroes from the previously mentioned guild and lighting the town on fire. With this sad destruction we’re introduced to Galleo, a somewhat timid and hesitant friend of Armilly and Copernica whose main abilities for the group are a strong defensive character and added bonus as the resident healer. His water abilities help stop the fire but they do not save the heroes and follow in pursuit after another battle.

 

 

Throughout each area are chests containing gold and sometimes healing items. With these, there’s no real serious punishment early on for rushing into fights without thinking. There are also quite a few game mechanics that you get introduced to in a short time span that they make up for with streamlining as you go along and having a help option always available.

 

 

After a few mini boss fights, you leave the town and follow the villains into another forest, in which you come across a mysterious retired hero, Orik, the once side hand to Gilgamech. He’s trapped in a cage and you must battle your way through a mine slowly going above ground to pass a locked door to open it on the other side while chasing a small goblin who’s got a key to Orik’s cage. This part may get repetitive but only if you’re like me and level grind in each area to make sure you’re above the expected level cap.

 

 

To keep the rest of the story a fun mystery I’ll stop here but the story maintains an interesting atmosphere throughout.

 

 

Personally, I found the game very enjoyable having been introduced to the series with steamworld dig. They did well to give each important character a unique and lovable personality while sprinkling in fun side one-off characters you may interact with. The gameplay can get repetitive if you are someone who min/max’s their build early on and level grinds. If you enjoyed the previous titles in the series I recommend you check out SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech as it’s creative use of card-based battle and quirky world features made the game by far one of my favourite to have played this year.

 

 

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech i available now on PC, XBox One, Playstation 4 and Nintendo switch, for more information head over to the games website and check out the trailer below –

 

 

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech gets a card carrying 8 out of 10 from me, enjoy!

 

~Reviss

 


September 7th, 2019 by Reviss-DragonLord
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Multiplatform Game Review: Vaporum by Fatbot Games

Vaporum is a grid-based dungeon crawler RPG in an original steampunk setting, inspired by old-school classics of the genre. Stranded in the middle of an ocean, in front of a gigantic tower, the hero has to find out what the place is, what happened there, and most importantly, who he is.

 

 

Vaporum is developed by Fatbot Games and originally released on PC in 2017. Key Features of the game include: First person real-time combat, Puzzles and level-wide objectives, Gadget-based RPG system, Lots of exploration, loot, plenty of character customization, a mysterious storyline filled with secrets, fully voiced main characters, and an Immersive steampunk setting.

 

Combat in Vaporum takes place in real time. Each enemy type has a distinctive set of strengths and weaknesses, and various kinds of attacks and defense mechanisms, so you have to employ different tactics to beat each one. A Lot of time is spent fighting progressively more difficult enemies on a grid based movement system which limits you to simple left, right, forward, and backwards movement and 90 degree turns. This leads to you being able to hit an enemy, step backwards and force a melee-only enemy to step forwards so you can hit it again and move before it can hit you, effectively killing it. This is simple versus a single enemy, but much more daunting versus multiple enemies and mastery of the tile based grid movement system is a must as jarring as it is. Combat is quick and lethal with little opportunity for healing. If you get backed into a corner, it easily becomes a situation of standing there taking turns hitting each other until one of you are dead. The gadget based system is more accurately a steampunk version of spells and is very fun and satisfying to use to defeat enemies.

 

 

The movement system is jarring at times and clunky. It did give me motion sickness due to the way the character moves. The character’s head bobs down and then looks back up after each move, and turning is a sudden start then stop that can disorient you. It must be stated this is one of only two titles to ever give me motion sickness, and even with developer help I was not able to prevent it; only limit it by turning off the options for headbob, screen shake effects, and idle camera animation. The head bob while moving was still there as was the up-down motion of the character breathing, but this did help to somewhat mitigate the motion sickness.

 

 

Most mechanics in Vaporum are very simple. However, combining these mechanics creates intriguing puzzles and level-wide objectives where you have to use both your wits and reflexes. While most puzzles and riddles are contained in a single room, progression objectives can span an entire level or even multiple levels. The puzzles themselves can consist of finding the button, moving crates in set patterns and triggering pressure plates in a specific order, with later levels adding lethal traps and teleporters. While solving the puzzles feels rewarding, it is a double edged sword as completing the puzzles are required for progression, but it is very frustrating when you get stuck on one, and they quickly become monotonous and boring at that point.

 

 

The games graphics and Audio are top-notch and perfect for a steampunk title and really help to immerse you into the game world. The voice acting is pretty good for the most part with only a couple lines of dialogue that felt off. The story is good even though it is set up with the stereotypical woke up with amnesia trope. The controls on the other hand make it clear this was a title ported over from the pc, and while clumsy and clunky and frustratingly annoying at first, once you learn and memorize them they no longer present as much of an issue.

 

Check out the video version of this review here –

 

Or check out Lone’s stream of the XBox One version –

 

For more info on the game, head over to the Vaporum website.

 

I give the game a solid 5 out of 10, it stands good on its own merits, but as a port it feels lacking in the quality of life department.

~Darsch

 

[Here Darsch reviews the PlayStation 4 Port of Vaporum, released early April 2019, also on XBox One and Nintendo Switch. ~Lone]


April 25th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Reggie Fils-Aime to step down as Nintendo President, names Bowser as Successor


(This article begins with a dramatisation which is for comic purposes. The main news article begins after the line)

 

A conference room inside Nintendo of America’s offices. Redmond, Washington. February 21st, 2019.

 

Reggie Fils-Aime: Friends, investors, esteemed colleagues. I think we can all agree when I say that over the last decade, Nintendo has grown from strength to strength. We have seen record breaking sales from the Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch systems; and our moves into mobile gaming and film are beginning to also pay dividends. True, it hasn’t all been plain sailing (takes a picture down from the wall of a blue “U”); but one thing has never been lost: We are a company of individuals always moving forward and innovating with fun, dynamic new ideas.

(The entire boardroom cheers)

Reggie: …Which brings me to the point of today. After more than 15 notable years at Nintendo of America, and nearly 13 as your President and COO, I believe the time is now right for me to pass on the reins. I therefore wish to inform you that I will soon be stepping down from the chair.

(The entire boardroom gasps)

Reggie: I called this meeting today in order to name my successor. Step forward… Bowser!

(All heads turn towards the doorway as the door to the conference room swings open, The floor shakes audibly with each step as the spiky-shelled King of the Koopas steps in to the room)

 

 

Bowser: That’s RIGHT! I’m taking control of this Airship, and you all will bow to me from now on! For my first act, I demand a meeting with your precious poster child who has so often foiled my plans. Bring me Mario this instant!

Reggie: Not you, Bowser…

Bowser: WHAT?!?

 

A picture of Doug Bowser
Image courtesy LinkedIn

 

(From behind the large, intimidating Koopa, another man steps forward. As Reggie shakes the man’s hand, the entire room applauds)

Reggie: I of course was referring to our current Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Doug Bowser. Effective April 15th, I am officially promoting him to my now-former role as President of Nintendo of America.

Doug Bowser: It has been my great fortune to work with and be mentored by Reggie for four years at Nintendo of America … And rest assured, we will continue to build on his work to evolve and expand our brand, furthering Nintendo’s global mission of creating smiles. There are millions more of those to come.

Bowser: BAH!!! This pipsqueak is not even worthy of the Bowser name! (He storms out, as the rest of the boardroom congratulate Doug)

 


 

Yes, it’s official. After more than 15 notable years at Nintendo of America, and nearly 13 as its President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime will retire. His successor, Doug Bowser, is an industry veteran who joined NOA in May 2015 as the Vice President of Sales before being promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing the next year – and now, starting April 15th, he will now hold the esteemed title of President of Nintendo of America.

 

While the name may not be familiar to everyone, Bowser’s business acumen is certainly powerful. Doug Bowser is an industry veteran who joined NOA in May 2015 as the Vice President of Sales before being promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing the next year. During his time at NOA, Bowser led the sales and marketing efforts for Nintendo Switch, which became the fastest-selling video game system of this hardware generation through 21 months, according to The NPD Group. Even before his time at Nintendo, Bowser has held major roles at Electronic Arts – where he last worked as Vice President of Global Business Planning.

 

In announcing his retirement, Fils-Aime said:

 

“Nintendo owns a part of my heart forever … It’s a part that is filled with gratitude – for the incredibly talented people I’ve worked with, for the opportunity to represent such a wonderful brand, and most of all, to feel like a member of the world’s most positive and enduring gamer community. As I look forward to departing in both good health and good humor, this is not ‘game over’ for me, but instead ‘leveling up’ to more time with my wife, family and friends.”

 

Responding to the news, Shuntaro Furukawa, President of Nintendo Co., Ltd, had this to say:

 

“I really appreciate everything Reggie has done for Nintendo. Inside and outside our company, Reggie is known as an exceptional leader. We are grateful that he is leaving the business in good shape with strong momentum. While we will miss him and we wish him the very best in his retirement, we are also pleased to have such an able successor ready to step into that role. Doug Bowser and the rest of the team will ensure a seamless transition and continued momentum for Nintendo.”

 

So long as this Bowser doesn’t share the famous Bowser’s fiery reputation, Nintendo of America should remain in safe hands.

 

Bowser, the King of Koopas, breathes fire
Image courtesy Super Mario Wiki


February 21st, 2019 by CrimsonShade
Posted in Gaming, General, Nintendo | No Comments »

Game of the Year awards 2018!

Game of the Year 2018 – Awarded to the best of our Game of the Month winners of 2018.

Legrand Legacy – SemiSoft Studios

 

Our first Game of the Month title in the new scene and a worthy community choice for our first proper Game of the Year award aswell, massive congrats to Uwil and the team at SemiSoft Studios! 

 

For a reminder of our Game of the Month choices in 2018, here you go –

 

01-2018 Legrand Legacy – Semisoft Studios

02-2018 Fe – Zoink Games

03-2018 Surviving Mars – Haemimont Games

04-2018 Battletech – Harebrained Schemes

05-2018 State of Decay 2 – UndeadLabs

06-2018 Jurassic World Evolution – Frontier Developments

08-2018 World of Warcraft Battle For Azeroth – Blizzard Entertainment

09-2018 Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Square Enix

10-2018 Red Dead Redemption 2 – Rockstar

11-2018 Fallout 76 – Bethesda Studios

12-2018 Just Cause 4 – Square Enix

 

 


 

Team Choice 2018 – Awarded by the station team.

Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

 

The station team thought long and hard over the new year break what they loved the most in 2018 and Marvel’s Spider-Man was the stand out winner from the team.  Insomniac Gaes bought us a blinder of an open world adventure for the web slinger that all the other great games this year just couldn’t quite top!

 

And for those interested, here’s the full list of the teams choices –

 

Lonesamurai –       Surviving Mars – Haemimont Games

Scarlet_Dragon –  Graveyard Keeper – Lazy Bear Games/TinyBuild

Crimsonshade –    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.

Ca1t –                    Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

Isnotavampire –     Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

Phasechan –          Spyro Reignited Trilogy – Toys for Bob

TGB-Sirhc&Ar0n – Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

Darsch –                 Monster Hunter World – Capcom

Katoe –                   Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

 

 


 

Best Sony Playstation 4 Exclusive Game – Our choice for the best PS4 title in 2018

Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

 

As mentioned in the Team Choice section, Insomniac played a blinder with the new iteration of Marvel’s Spider-Man, bringing qualities we loves from way back in Spider-Man 2 to make a perfect free roaming open world.

 

 


 

Best Nintendo Switch Exclusive Game – Our choice for the best Switch title in 2018

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.

 

The latest Smash Bros. dominated the Switch owning members of the community and team in 2018, with challenges flying over in discord (we should have done a tournament), with a fantastic roster of fighters and clean, precise controls, it was one of the best fighting games of not only 2018, but also all time!

 

 


 

Best Microsoft XBox One Exclusive Game – Our choice for the best XB1 title in 2018

Forza Horizon 4 – Playground Games

 

Bringing us a good chunk of the north of England and the Scottish border, Forza Horizon 4 turned into the best racing game of 2018, but more on that later.  It was also the first in the Forza series also on XBox Play Anywhere that ran brilliantly on mediocre PC specs aswell, after the horrible showing by Forza 7 in 2017!

 

 


 

Best Action Game – For the best game in the action genre focused on combat.

Monster Hunter World – Capcom

 

The first Monster Hunter to make it to PC, albeit a few months after the console versions, didn’t arrive with fanfare’s, but it should have.  A great action game, even if a little shallow compared to other RPG’s, but still amazingly fun if you like chopping up huge monsters and using the parts to make new armour and weapons!

 

 


 

Best Independent Game – For outstanding creative and technical achievement in a game made outside the traditional publisher system.

Celeste – Matt Makes Games

 

An indie title we shockingly missed when it came out in January of 2018 on STEAM and other platforms, and then a free title on XBox Live (you can grab it now if you haven’t already) Matt Makes Games made a classic platformer that left us in awe of what Indies can do.

 

 


 

Best Multiplayer Game – For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences, irrespective of game genre.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth – Blizzard Entertainment

 

Blizzard may have had some issues at the end of 2018 and into the new year, but WoW had a great launch to it’s 6th expansion, Battle for Azeroth. Learning from Legions up’s and down’s, it was a solid expansion, but felt a little lacking in places until patch 8.1 dropped.

 

 


 

Best Ongoing Game – Awarded to a game for outstanding development of ongoing content that evolves the player experience over time.

World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth – Blizzard Entertainment

 

As mentioned above, WoW’s 6th expansion dropped continuing WoW’s dominance at the top of the MMO tree for another year!

 

 


 

Best Racing Game – For the best racing experience in 2018.

Forza Horizon 4 – Playground Games

 

As mentioned above, Forza Horizon 4 was a massive step up for the series, especially being cross platform, but as a really good racing game.

 

 


 

Best Role Playing Game – For the best game designed with rich player character customization and progression, including massively multiplayer experiences.

Monster Hunter: World – Capcom

 

Again, as mentioned above, Monster Hunter has been successful for years on Nintendo systems, but finally branching out to the other consoles and even PC made it one of the best RPG’s of 2018!

 

 


 

Best Strategy Game – Best game focused on real time or turn-based strategy gameplay, irrespective of platform.

Battletech – Harebrained Schemes

 

One of our Game of the Month winners in 2018, Harebrained Schemes bought us a turn based Mechwarrior title that not only reminded us of the good old days of XCom, but has us excited for Mechwarrior 5 in 2019.  The Flashpoint DLC near the end of the year added a well needed Iron Man mode for those that wanted more of a challenge too!

 

 


 

Stinker of the Year! – The most disappointing game of 2018, not the worst, just disappointing

Fallout 76 – Bethesda Studios

 

We were unsure when Bethesda first announced Fallout 76 last year, but we wanted to give it benefit of the doubt.  Unfortunately, although not bad, it wasn’t great either.  With a bad, buggy start for most people and issues like duping and cheating carrying on into the new year and beyond, although it was good and even fun to play sometimes, it left a sour note on the franchise.

 


January 20th, 2019 by Lonesamurai
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Technology, Xbox | No Comments »

Early Access Review – HyperParasite

Relentless rogue-like shooter/brawler coming soon to a host near you. SNATCH, ZAP and REPEAT your way through a dystopian 1980’s as a mysterious organism bent on world domination.

 

 

Troglobytes games’ HyperParasite is a top down twin stick shooter with a twist.

 

The first thing people will notice about HyperParasite is probably the obvious homage to the 80’s, the game looks like it was dunked in a tank of 80’s neon sheen, the soundtrack is full of awesome 80’s inspired dark synthwave, and the whole concept of the post apocalypse filled with various themed gangs (which isn’t exactly what the game is, but with character classes being very specific and appearing together a lot in waves it does have a slight Warriors vibe).

 

 

So gameplay wise, you play as the titular HyperParasite, a mass of shadowy smoke like tentacles, the Parasite has the ability to move around freely, dash (which can be used to avoid attacks and to smash various objects), and a tentacle swipe (and here is where the gameplay twist comes in) the tentacle swipe is used to infect your enemies and hijack their bodies, the effect of this is twofold, not only do you used them as a literal human shield to protect your fragile parasitic lack of a body, but you also get to use their strengths, each enemy has their own attack, special and stats, generally a melee character will be stronger and have a higher amount of hit points, while a ranged character will be weaker and survive fewer hits with the trade off of being able avoid more damage while on the run and still scoring hits.

 

Outside of the two main classes, each enemy character has their own playstyle, cops are ranged and can fire their pistol with moderate strength straight in the direction you are facing they also have a clip limit so they need to reload once their shots are spent, whereas the paper girl, while also a ranged unit throws two newspapers that do low damage and split out in a small V formation in the direction you are facing, they also have unlimited papers so no need to reload or watch your clip count, similarly melee characters will have different range and damage to their attacks that you will need to take into consideration when selecting a host for your parasite.

 

 

Now what if you are surrounded by units you don’t like? Should you stay as the parasite? Well no, it’s never really a good idea to stay as the parasite because it’s super squishy, and at any point if you see a better unit you can destroy your current host and snag them, assuming they don’t destroy you before you grab them, you also have the choice of throwing a potential host at your enemies instead of taking them if you grab the wrong one by mistake, using them as a decently strong ranged attack.

 

Each run you do is procedurally generated, and the waves of enemies are randomised as well, so it’s more about quick reactions and luck than planning things out, some areas will have things like barrels and cars strewn about as well, some of these contain nothing, others have pickups, mostly in the form of money which can be used to purchase upgrades if you find a store, and the rest of them blow up, prior to blowing up you will see a ring which indicated the area of effect the explosion will cover, so you can know how far to move to avoid it, and if you are lucky and skilful enough you can also lure enemies in to feel the effects of the blast.

 

 

Some certain enemies also allow you to take their DNA after you defeat them, this can be used to power up your parasite and make it more formidable, and with roguelike elements, you can gain power ups that will apply to future runs, making things easier for subsequent attempts, which would be helpful as I found the difficulty even in the first area very hard to overcome.

 

Overall the game is well made, with a winning art style, music and over all feel, the replayability is high, with some runs going well enough to think, I’m going to take another shot and see if I can push it further, and other runs ending so quickly that you think, that was a mulligan, one more try, the game is still also in pre-alpha at the time of this review so they have time to add more and balance the difficulty if it turns out I’m not alone in being absolutely destroyed.

 

 

HyperParasite is available now in Early Access on STEAM, and coming soon to XBox One and Nintendo Switch

 

 

Early Access rating 7/10.
~Sirhc


November 13th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Xbox | No Comments »

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