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PC Indie Game Review: AVARIAvs from Juncture Media

In AVARIAvs, players choose a party of 3 heroes to battle against an opponent’s party. During battle, opposing players choose their actions simultaneously and then witness the mayhem of their decisions. Combat rages on until one winner reigns victorious by decimating their opponent’s HP to zero.

Be warned however, matches that do not conclude promptly may be subject to JUDGEMENT…

 

 

AVARIAvs Is a turn based pvp game, where you make a team of three characters and battle it out online or side by side from your couch. Think of it as using a JRPG like Final Fantasy 7’s classic turn based combat to fight pvp matches, but both sides turns take place at the same time based on which character has the highest speed and plays out in real time!

 

 

In Avaria the players can select premade teams of 3 characters or build two custom teams from the 16 characters offered in the game. However you currently can only have a single character from each faction. As the match progresses a judgement system is activated to kill off characters to keep the match from dragging on, I have only ever seen the judgement affect the losing team.

 

 

The graphics and art for the game are amazing, while the sound track is a perfect fit for the game. Combat animations are spot on and a pleasure to watch while the match speed and turns have the perfect pacing. AVARIAvs hits all the bells and whistles I was hoping for from a competitive pvp game that is not a another moba or battle royale. This is something new, refreshing, fun, tactical, and awesome. I can see this game easily becoming the next League of Legends in popularity and Esports.

 

 

AVARIAvs is available now on STEAM. For more info, check out the links in the description below and remember to check out Sanitarium.FM and join our discord for more gaming news, info and community chat, over on Discord

 

Check out the video version of this review here –

 

AVARIAvs is an easy 10 out of 10 as a truly unique, and fun, experience that gets the competitive juices flowing and never fails to deliver on a good time. Get out there, represent your favorite characters, and fight to the death in AVARIAvs folks.

~Darsch


May 22nd, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, MOBA, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

City of Heroes: Paragon Weekly News – Issue 1

Greetings my fellow Heroes and Villains! The beloved City of Heroes is back with a vengeance! For the past few days I have had the pleasure of playing City of Heroes homecoming, a set of servers currently being hosted privately but open to the public. The game is working great and even has unreleased content that was never seen before, due to the NCSoft shutdown of the game prior to the release of the content.

 

 

So let us go ahead and jump into some crazy stats real quick then we can get into other tidbits of info. 30,000 game accounts have now been created. The shards each have a player cap of 1,500-2,000 players per shard. As of the time of writing this article Over 86,000 characters have been created, with a total of 11,580,007,259 experience earned. Characters are currently holding 13,065,748,305 influence (CoH version of gold) total and 10,000 people just in the Discord!

 

Character archetype breakdown
11,323 Brutes
10,815 Masterminds
10,785 Blasters
9,466 Scrappers
7,855 Controllers
6,914 Tankers
5,963 Defenders
5,224 Corruptors
4,419 Sentinels
3,918 Dominators
2,982 Stalkers
1,446 Peace bringers
1,328 Arachnos Soldiers
1,304 Warshades
985 Arachnos Widows

 

As you can see the servers have been crazy busy, those stats were just for torchbearer and excelsior. The homecoming server shards have been so popular the Homecoming team had to set up a login queue to maintain stability. At one point yesterday the CoH Discord had 17,625 users chatting. CoH homecoming is now up to 4 server shards, with a fifth temporary shard that will be spun up and down as needed. Torchbearer, Excelsior, Everlasting and Indomitable are the normal server shards, Halcyon is the temp. Everlasting and Indomitable were just added on April 28th.

 

 

Yesterday the 27th of April, I had the pleasure of making some new friends while playing my widow Ariela on the Excelsior shard and discussing the return of City of Heros. It was clear that many people are thankful the game has returned and the game had a profound impact on them. Here are some direct quotes from the team chat:

Insanguinata: “This game has haunted my dreams for the past 7 years, literally waking up in utter disappointment when I find out it was just a dream that I was playing CoX”
Godfather: “yeah I know that feeling”
Ariela: “I legit cried when I got to log in the other day and play”
Crimson Wolf: “Same”
Godfather: “I stopped playing when they announced it was shutting down. I’m a grown man but I wept like a little kid whose favorite toy was ripped out of his hands by the neighborhood bully. I always had and have fun playing this game, no matter what, and it was like losing a limb, or a loved one. one outlet for creativity gone for no reason. I hated myself later for not playing those last few months, but I really, I’d think about CoH and tear up and have to find some way to stop thinking about it”

A big thank you for allowing me to quote you guys!

 

In other more sinister CoH news, someone has been going around impersonating Prominent community members and staff asking for donations and talking about a patreon. DO NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE MONEY! This a scam plain and simple. There is another server not affiliated with homecoming that is also asking for money and does not even have a playable server up yet. I would advise against donating to that as well. The homecoming team is not taking donations or accepting money; they are currently bearing the cost themselves. This is well over $2,000 a month to do this for us. They have also been working tirelessly to make this dream a reality, so cut them some slack when the servers go down for maintenance.

 

 

In more fun news there was a costume contest being held on the homecoming forums. A big congrats goes out to Kenwe, Harvest, and LycraBoy, they won special titles unique to them, 200 reward merits and The Fashion Victim badge. Way to make history as the first place winners of the first Homecoming Costume Contest and the first costume contest held for CoH in over 6 years.

 

The homecoming team has made 3 types of Super Packs available for purchase at the Auction House. From an official post found here https://score.savecoh.com/index.php/topic,1204.0.html

“The value of each Super Pack is roughly equivalent to 10 Reward Merits & some goodies
Each pack contains 5 things
The prices are likely to increase over time and without notice
The drop tables may also change without notice
It’s possible you may encounter issues, packs and items may disappear before or as you claim them – until this has been tested thoroughly, use them at your own risk as there will be no refunds for lost influence or items
The money spent on these packs is removed from the game, it isn’t going to another player (essentially, this allows us to combat inflation)
Super Pack: Heroes and Villains
Cost: 10 million inf
Contains most of the items listed on this page
Some items (such as the costume pieces) aren’t included as they’re now free
Other items (such as Brainstorm ideas) have been added
Drop rates are generally more generous than they were on live
Super Pack: Rogues and Vigilantes
Cost: 10 million inf
Contains most of the items listed on this page
Some items (such as the costume pieces) aren’t included as they’re now free
Other items (such as Brainstorm ideas) have been added
Drop rates are generally more generous than they were on live
Super Pack: Lords of Winter
Cost: 25 million inf (price will be reduced during the Winter event)
Contains extra-special Winter enhancements
Contains some Winter-event themed goodies (temporary powers, candy canes, etc)
Also contains most of the same filler content as the other two packs”

 

Also: a bit on Architect Entertainment which is the player made mission content system from the same forum post linked above,

“The AE XP reduction will be remaining in place for the foreseeable future. Soon, however, we will be making a change to allow any arcs flagged as ‘Dev Choice’ to give full XP like any other non-AE mission.

To reiterate, the primary reason for the XP reduction is that the traditional farm maps used by many players put an incredibly high strain on the server’s CPU (this isn’t related to any memory leaks as some have suggested). It was causing everyone to have a degraded experience, which just isn’t fair.

In addition, some of you may have experienced issues editing and updating AE arcs you uploaded in the first week or so of the servers being online. This was caused by the AE databases not being shared by the different shards when we first brought Excelsior online. We’ve since rectified this issue and all new AE arcs are now fully accessible across all shards, but there are some older arcs that have been stuck in limbo.

We’re looking at various options for fixing this and aren’t completely certain on which route we’ll take first, but we would like to request that everyone make frequent offline backups of their AE content for the time being, as we may need to wipe some or all of the AE database in order to fully resolve this issue. If a wipe is required, we will give you a minimum of 3 days notice.”

 

For the final bit of news this week, you can join me in game on excelsior, my chat handle is @Darsch and I am more than happy to give you an invite to the OFFICIAL Sanitarium.fm Supergroups The Sanitarium on Villain side and Sanitarium.FM Heroes side, where we will have weekly Task force and strike force runs, weekly Hamidon raids, weekly pvp events and regularly scheduled costume contests! We are always accepting new and veteran players alike! If you would like to join us just message me for an invite in game or on Discord or in the comments below.

 

 

You can join us in game by downloading Tequila and selecting SCORE to play! Account Creation
1) Create a Forum account at https://score.savecoh.com/index.php?action=register
2) Create your Game Account. This is the account that you will actually use to log into City of Heroes. To do this, click “Game Account” on the forums after signing into your forum account. You can find this just above the Announcements category. Alternatively, you may use this click: https://score.savecoh.com/index.php/board,1.0.html

Install CoH
1) Download Tequila if you’re on Windows from http://patch.savecoh.com/tequila.exe, or Island Rum if you’re on Mac OS from http://ir.powermad.net/islandrum-mac.zip.
2) Install the game in whatever directory you want. *For Windows 8 and above, it is important that this is not in your Desktop, Documents, or Downloads folder due to permissions. We recommend installing to C:\Games\City of Heroes. It is also important to make sure Tequila goes into the same location as CoH.
3) Tequila and Island Rum should automagically download the client once you start them, but note that due to server load, your download may be slow.
3A) For faster downloads you may use the magnet link magnet:?xt=urn:btih:FD5ADD155E5FD01D6013B026A8766E56C2841E3D&dn=City%20of%20Heroes to download most of the City of Heroes data.
4) Once Tequila or Island Rum have finished updating, ensure that “SCORE” is selected at the top left and click “Play”.

 

See you in game folks, and check back next week for more news and join us in Discord to chat about the game!


May 10th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, PC | No Comments »

Community News:  City of Heroes source code release news

3:00 PM EDT April 19th 2019…

That was when it happened, a miracle of heroic proportions. 5 days later is when I heard the news and my heart skipped a beat. The City of Heroes source code was dropped, not a reworked code, not new homegrown emulator code, it is the ORIGINAL game code. Let that sink in for just a minute, process it. Did your heart skip a beat too? Did you just experience a roller coaster of emotions like I did? If so, soon we can return home brothers and sisters! If not, its okay, soon you can discover why this is so huge for us.

 

 

City of Heroes was shut down for no apparent reason on November 30th 2012. The game was successful here in the west, maintaining profitability, but it is believed NCSoft shut it down due to poor reception in the Korean market. Petitions to save the game and numerous other attempts were everywhere. All fell on deaf ears.

 

 

Fast forward to today, City of Heroes still has a rabid fan base, numerous spiritual successors are in development, and there are more than a few groups working on an emulator. The release of the source code will accelerate these emulators by leaps and bounds, no longer are they reverse engineering scraps of code and writing new stuff from scratch, now they have the original source code to work with. Instead of taking years to get an emulated game we can get the real deal in a much shorter time.

 

 

Now to be fair the source code drop did not include Mission Arcs, other game content, or the character database. But the player and NPC databases are one and the same, and is currently being scrubbed and sifted through and will be dropped once that process is finished. everything that is currently missing is being worked on getting ready for release. Stay patient, and keep the faith alive, soon we will be in paragon city together again! Why am I so sure of this? Because there has been a secret CoH server running and in development for the last 6 years! Not only that but the Titan network is still working on trying to get a legal server running!On to the leaked secret server; it was outed by Destroyer stroyer, AKA Doc Boy, who says his real name is Brian. It was leaked in a video he posted to youtube which has since been taken down. He claimed to have been invited to the private server after dumping game screenshots to reddit, and claims the server was running for 6 years with the game’s original code and player character data. He also claims the devs had access to personal info, and was kept secret until now with ban threats and NDAs. Due to this leak of the secret SCORE (Secret Cabal of Reverse Engineers) COH server Leandro Pardini, the lead dev on said server, confirms the server’s existence and spoke out about numerous accusations made by Doc Boy and the need for the secrecy in the first place. Here is the complete statement –

 

The Secret Cabal of Reverse Engineers
Before I talk about City of Heroes, I need to go back in time a little bit. It has been over six years since the shutdown, so a lot of people either forgot or never knew how the server project started. And for that, I need to talk about another game.

When NCsoft closed Tabula Rasa in 2007, a group of devoted players banded together to code a server for it. It was called Infinite Rasa and it developed things in the open, with a project website and forum. The overall architecture was being discussed publicly and there was a buggy server that allowed players to log in and run around the initial area.

Then it was hit by a Cease and Desist order by NCsoft in November 2011. The website was seized, the forums went dark, and progress completely stopped. One thing was made abundantly clear to everybody: NCsoft was not going to tolerate the development of servers for their games, even four years after they were shut down.

When City of Heroes closed in November 2012, this was very fresh in my mind. Instead of trying to develop a server out in the open to suffer the same fate as Infinite Rasa, the efforts to revive City of Heroes focused on trying to acquire the IP from NCsoft through various means, with any server development being held in secret.

And here is the irony of the entire situation: the fact that a City of Heroes server is being developed in secret is not a secret. If you search for the phrase “Secret Cabal of Reverse Engineers” in Google, the very first result is a post from 2013, in which a player is explicitly saying that the server development efforts “might want to stay as low as possible”.

 

So that is what SCORE did. It utilized closed forums with, closed access. Invite only; initially only for developers, though eventually expanded to friends and family of anyone who had access. Accepting an invitation to the project involved a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and anyone who breached it had their access revoked. Over the years, multiple people who weren’t happy with how fast the project was moving or wanted it made public were removed. For the most part this was not an issue, because the community at large, at the time, understood that this was a secret project, a backup if everything else failed. That seems to no longer be the case.

 

 

There are currently calls to make SCORE public because of the extra exposure; the reason given is that, after six years, NCsoft surely wouldn’t care. But Infinite Rasa also thought they were safe after four years. This is not a mistake you make twice.

 

I believe that the reason this particular NDA breach gained so much traction when others didn’t has to do with the community evolving over time. Many people no longer remember that efforts to acquire the IP were ongoing at the time, and so server development was agreed to happen underground. It is possible that a lot of people that played City of Heroes while they were teenagers, and never engaged with the community at the time, are now adults who never knew about it in the first place.

 

 

Now, I need to address the connections, or lack thereof, between SCORE and other projects that have become entangled in this dramatic reveal.

 

Super Entity Game Server

The Super Entity Game Server project already existed back in 2012 when the City of Heroes servers were shut down, and their goal is to implement a fully playable server that connects to the original release client from 2004. At the time there was a lot of discussion about contributing to SEGS rather than starting a separate project, but the fact that SEGS uses the original release client, while SCORE targeted the latest beta client from 2012, makes both projects fundamentally incompatible. The projects are separate, and as far as I am aware, none of the lead developers or community managers ever accepted an invite to participate in SCORE.

SEGS has been given as a reason why the secrecy behind SCORE is unwarranted. After all, they have been operating for ten years now, and have not received any Cease and Desist orders by NCsoft. It should be noted that SEGS has not yet released anything to the level of what Infinite Rasa had: working weapons and enemies, though limited to just the starting area. It’s also possible that using the original release client makes them a less appealing target. In either case, they are certainly braver and more willing to take risks than I am, and I really hope that it works out for them. While my attempts to contribute to SEGS were extremely limited mainly due to my own lack of familiarity and patience with their programming framework, I still am cheering for their success and I hope that, if this whole situation attracts attention to them, it’s only in the form of new developers seeking to contribute their skills to the project.

 

The Titan Network

While the initial recruitment for SCORE happened on the Titan Network forums, the project was split off as soon as possible. Because of the then-ongoing efforts to acquire the City of Heroes IP from NCsoft, the owner for the site did not want a server development project to jeopardize the negotiations, and has on multiple occasions disavowed the server project completely, although discussion of SCORE are still allowed as far as I know. This might seem overzealous, but it is perfectly understandable; the Titan Network aims to be a hub for the City of Heroes community and their many projects, and being linked to a specific underground project introduces a liability that could cause them to be shut down as well.

Once it was clear that acquiring the IP was not going to happen, the Titan Network created a project where all the user data is held on the players’ own computers and the game processes are distributed among players. This is a brilliant idea, as it means that there’s no server to shut down; Paragon Chat operates on a standard, open source chat client. I collaborated on this project’s early days, but again, the goals are too different for the projects to be merged into a single thing. And because of the difficulty in properly implementing a distributed server, I recommend that anyone with the development skills to contribute to a City of Heroes server project joins SEGS instead.

 

Paragon Studios

This is where things get less pleasant. This last NDA breach has had some malicious elements to it, probably to inflate the claims and make it feel more dramatic than it is. While I won’t deny that some former Paragon Studios developers are aware of SCORE and have provided helpful tips in the past, this should not be shocking to anyone who has been around the community long enough; I have seen some former Paragon Studios developers in the Discord server for SEGS as well. Under no circumstances should there be fingers pointed at them; anything they shared was done so with the tacit understanding that it would not endanger their current or future employment. I am very happy to take the heat over this entire situation, even though I think it has been overblown. Leave them out of it.

There is one specific rumor that needs outright debunking, though: at no point did I, or anyone else I know, receive a database containing player names, emails, birth dates, payment information, or any other personally identifiable information. Not only would this have been a massive breach of privacy, but that is not information that a game server would ever need to operate, and so it would have been completely pointless to share.

 

Reddit

The person behind the current NDA breach cites Reddit moderators being too quick to remove all mentions of any private server, except for their two stickies for SEGS and Paragon Chat. While this again might seem overzealous, it really isn’t. Reddit as a whole does not tolerate when a forum triggers legal complaints; very recently, the subreddit where piracy is discussed had to delete 10 years of archived discussions to prevent being shut down. There are also the very valid concerns that malicious actors would post links to City of Heroes servers that turn out to be scams which infect the player’s computer with malware or stealing payment information. Reddit offers no accountability regarding who posts anything, and so it should be heavily policed to guarantee a safe environment. If this feels like censorship, you are always free to start your own subreddit. I do not moderate the City of Heroes subreddit, the Titan Network or any Facebook group.

 

Trust and Feelings

This is a difficult thing to address, because nobody likes feeling lied to, even by omission. At the same time, operating under an NDA comes with some rules that are well understood. The fact that we’re talking about a server project for a game while the company that owns the IP is still active and used aspects of the IP very recently for Master X Master makes things more complicated.

My approach to enforcing the NDA has always been to not reply to any public posts that revealed details about SCORE, and just contact the specific party to have the information taken down. Others have gone as far as to call them liars or crazy, which goes against my wishes. I do apologize for anyone who was on the receiving end of verbal abuse due to this situation.

Back in 2012, the City of Heroes community agreed that SCORE would operate in secret until we had something ready for release. The fact that nearly nothing has been released six years later is probably part of the reason why this attracted so much attention; the community has shifted and changed, and not many remember how the project began. I am sure a lot of people are curious to know how much progress has been done; however, with SEGS having regular and interesting releases, it feels quite unfair to come out of nowhere and steal their thunder with a progress report on something that is hidden by design.

Unless and until we are certain that a Cease and Desist order is no longer a threat, the NDA regarding SCORE development will remain in full effect. For most people this will seem like a moot point since most of the community are aware of it, but keep in mind, that is also how we started. Until then, support SEGS! They are very close to a new release and I will be very disappointed if the ghost of SCORE overshadows their accomplishments.”

 

That is a lot to take in. Many people are understandably angry that this server existed in secret for so long with no way to play other than an invite. Now it remains to be seen how this will affect the future of the SCORE server and other projects now that the source code has been dropped by the people over at SCORE and how this all might affect the attempts by the city of titans folks to get a legit community server running with NCSoft approval. As of the time of this article a new public test server was launched with 14000 registered users and over 2000 active players, the servers current cap.

 

 

We’ll bring you more news as we hear it
~Darsch


April 27th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Technology | No Comments »

Movie Review: Shazam

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM. – this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the grown-up superhero Shazam.

 

 

After almost 20 years in the making, Shazam probably felt like the film that was never going to happen; Since the early 2000s, the project has struggled to come to fruition, but this Spring it became the seventh instalment in the DC Extended Universe with director David F. Sandberg at the helm. According to IMDB, Shazam has grossed over $300 million worldwide so far, a respectable sum in just three weeks.

 

We begin in 1974 in New York, where a young Thaddeus Sivana is in a car with his father and brother. During an argument, Sivana is transported to a temple known as the Rock of Eternity, where he meets Shazam, an ancient wizard looking for a champion to replace him as the last living member of the Council of Seven Wizards. In the search for someone pure of heart, Sivana proves to be tempted by the Eye of Sin displayed in the temple, which has previously proven to be dangerous. As a result, Shazam rejects him back to his own life. In the shock and mania of his experience, the family car is involved in a car crash, leaving his father with life-changing injuries and his brother blaming Young Sivana for the incident.

 

 

In present-day Philadelphia, foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is struggling to settle in his new foster home. He’s trying to find his biological mother who he was separated from at a funfair as a child, so is reluctant to accept his new family’s hospitality. Whilst running from the bullies who attacked his foster brother, Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), Billy ends up on a subway train that takes him to Shazam. In desperation for an heir, he chooses Billy to take his power and his name, transforming the fourteen-year-old into a fully grown man who looks suspiciously like Zachary Levi. With his new persona, Billy and Freddie bond over their love of superheroes to train and experiment with the powers that come with his new name of Shazam.

 

Meanwhile, a now Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong) returns to the Rock of Eternity after a lifetime of research to steal the Eye of Sin, using it to seek revenge on his family and take on Shazam to obtain his power just as any respectable villain would.

 

 

For me, the humour in this genre is not unusual anymore, though it is certainly refreshing for DC as it’s presented in a way that feels natural not only for the characters but also the actors. Levi and Grazer have a great on-screen rapport and have proven in previous roles to both be excellent comedy actors. I hope in particular that fans of action-comedy series Chuck are not disappointed as Levi’s Shazam shares similarity with Chuck’s frantic, yet charming, personality as a tech wiz turned CIA agent.

 

On paper, Shazam doesn’t sound like it could translate to the big screen as well as the rest of it’s DC counterparts, but it’s proven me wrong. It doesn’t offer the serious, dark plots or the edgy characters we’ve come to love from DC, but if anything I think that has worked to Shazam’s advantage.  It’s taken what we loved about Deadpool (especially Deadpool 2) and marketed for a wider audience so that those who find superhero films either too intense or overly complicated will hopefully feel less alienated. It’s not going to suit everyone, but hey, neither did Ben Affleck as Batman.

 

 

The action scenes are strong, which according to Editor Michael Aller, were difficult sequences to work on. The plot twists are not exactly groundbreaking, but no less satisfying to watch.

 

 

I really enjoyed the film and it gets a 9/10 from me.


April 27th, 2019 by Gemma
Posted in General, Movie Review | 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 »

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