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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 »

Review:- Assassin’s Creed® Odyssey

LIVE THE EPIC ODYSSEY OF A LEGENDARY SPARTAN HERO

Write your own epic odyssey and become a legendary Spartan hero in Assassin’s Creed® Odyssey, an inspiring adventure where you must forge your destiny and define your own path in a world on the brink of tearing itself apart. Influence how history unfolds as you experience a rich and ever-changing world shaped by your decisions.

 

 

Assassins creed odyssey is the 11th game in the long running series developed and published by Ubisoft. The series gained huge popularity receiving great reception with releases of assassin’s creed II and Brotherhood, largely claimed by many to be the pinnacle of the series. However, with each new release more and more fans departed from the series being disappointed again and again.

 

Ubisoft heard the fans disappointment and have decidedly responded by reinventing the game series through the last two titles. The first being Assassins creed: Origins and most recently Assassins creed: Odyssey. The question is, Is odyssey a return to good form? And is it worth the high price point of £49.99

 

The assassins creed staple idea was that you as the player went back in time to control a powerful hero in moderately sized open world based on a particular period of history. By experiencing and reliving the memories of these characters players would traverse through a plot connecting the future and past together. The series always liked to encourage stealth gameplay although the combat mechanics were very simple and abusable making almost every encounter easily completable with little to no stealth. However, with the release of origins Ubisoft have decided to move the game towards being an RPG. Including staple RPG elements like a levelling system, Gear stats & requirements and Character progression just to name a few that have inspired the gameplay within Origins. With reasonably good reception Ubisoft have continued this new theme bringing many of those elements back for Odyssey while expanding on many more.
Odyssey takes place in Greece during the Peloponnesian war (431 BCE to be exact) retelling its own take on the war between Athens and Sparta. Given the grand scale of the theme and setting the map size has also been given an upgrade making it over double the size of the previous within origins, Making Odysseys map the largest in game area seen in the whole series to date. Every corner of the map is beautifully crafted with each of the Greek islands feeling original and well made. The soundtrack takes key instruments and elements from Greek culture allowing it to blend into the surroundings perfectly which brings together the overall setting and theme of the game. Initially the game gives the player two new choices upon starting. The first being to choose between playing a female or a male character. The second being the choice to turn exploration mode on. The choice of character is permanent but a nice addition to see within the new RPG setting. It’s a simple change but helps the player feel as if the story is a more their own rather than playing a set characters events. The second choice however can be toggled off and on via the options at any point although personally after playing through the game with exploration mode on I think it adds so much to the game while simply doing so little. All exploration mode does is it removes most markers like quest objectives from the map and HUD pushing players to investigate the surroundings and gather more information to complete quests. It takes away the mindless cycle of receiving a quest, heading straight for the marker and handing it in. The added layer of mystery and investigation surprisingly adds a lot to the game and thus I think it’s a welcomed addition.

 

 

As mentioned earlier, Odyssey is a character-based RPG meaning that as you progress through the game your character gets stronger and stronger with the addition of more abilities and better gear which all ties in to character level. At its core all the main elements of the game are tied to this system, the questing, the combat and even exploration features. This simultaneously one of the best elements of the game and one of the biggest downfalls.

 

The levelling system is what gives players access to the three skill trees; Hunter which focuses on bows, Warrior which focuses on hand to hand combat and assassin which focuses on stealth. As you level up ability points are awarded to you to be spent in any skill tree meaning you aren’t locked into one choice although by diversifying into many you will have less progress in each. Each provides a unique set of gameplay however after playing through the first few hours players will notice that all have their uses making them all viable but some are objectively stronger than others, especially for the early game areas. The story is very slow to be introduced therefor much of the early game is the player hopping from side quest to side quest levelling and slowly building up an arsenal of better gear and more powerful abilities. While doing this the game slowly introduces some new mechanics like the bounty system, a new ship system and naval combat. The pacing of which these new features are shown and introduced feels good and well timed. Most of the core features are available to you by about 1-2 hours of playtime which is when you are prompted to depart from the first island, this is also where the main story starts to take place and unveil itself to you. However, this is where the first major issues start to show.

 

 

Due to the levelling systems running alongside the main story quests, each of the quests within the game have a suggested level, letting the player know if it’s appropriate to do. The player can usually do quests that are 1 to 2 levels higher but any higher becomes incredibly challenging as the opponents you face along those quests statistically are out of your range in damage and health. This means that throughout the game the player is forced to constantly be increasing their level to keep up with the content of the newer regions. For most of the additional content I believe this would be okay, but it is impossible to keep up with the main story of the game without taking constant breaks from it to grind out multiple side quests that will raise your level to the resume the main story. Not only does this take away from the commitment and investment into the story with constant breaks but it also means that the creative, fun and genuinely interesting story of the game is diluted with simple mundane side quests. Which brings the game to its second biggest problem.

 

 

The side quests are incredibly tedious making the fact that you must do them to keep progressing incredibly frustrating. While I will admit some of them offer a breath of fresh air most of them revolve around you “The hero of Greece, armed with legendary weapons and abilities” running errands and chores for the people. An exception to this critique would be the side quests to hunt the 4 main mythical creatures present within the world which is something that was done previously in Origins against the Egyptian gods. Within odyssey you can face medusa, a minotaur and even a cyclops each with their own original fight and individual themed loot dropping from each.

 

As mentioned previously Odyssey includes an new ship system for both management and sailing. This works by allowing the player to upgrade various components of the ship to help in naval battles. Upgrading weapons, hull, figure heads and even choosing what crew mans the ship. While adventuring through Greece the player can use non-lethal takedowns to recruit enemies to join your ships crew adding them to a roster of people who can be enlisted on your ship, each providing buffs of their own benefiting the ship further. The ship management meshes incredibly well with the main game and never detracts from the main experience, so a player can easily spend hours focusing on upgrading their ship or simply upgrading from time to time throughout the story.

 

 

A surprising new feature within Odyssey is the “bounty” system that could be compared to an altered version of the nemesis system within the “Shadow of Mordor” games. As the player performs certain actions throughout the world their bounty level will increase forcing unique individual enemies known as “Bounty hunters” to try and kill you. These bounty hunters are specially geared enemies often with their own flare. For example, one could be accompanied by a creature as a pet that will aid it in combat while another may use fire as a weapon, with each of the bounty hunters also having unique weaknesses and strengths against things like poison damage, assassination damage & fire damage etc. This closely follows the system in place in Shadow of Mordor allowing the player to engage each unique opponent with a new strategy that they are weak too. While I think this system needs work and some time to become its own it defiantly is a nice addition to the game, but for now at its simple implementation many people will simply compare it to its clear inspirations.

 

 

The final new addition to the game is the narrative system of choice which present through most of the main story and a few moments of the side content. This isn’t a new idea but its not one that I would have expected from an assassins creed game however It surprisingly works well. One of the biggest issues when games provide “choice” is the false illusion of choice, being able to choose something but the end result being exactly the same regardless, a common issue the persisted through many “choice based” titles. However in odyssey the few choices you do get are fairly big ones each having their own effect on the story and eventually your ending. This continues to further the RPG idea of playing your own character and not being shoehorned into playing someone else’s vision or story.

 

 

Assassin’s creed: Odyssey is definitely not a return to form in the sense that the game is so strikingly different from previous titles however that doesn’t take away from the fact that the new RPG formula is a good refreshing way to return to the series. If you’re looking for a game to sink a lot of time into or you’re simply just interested in the setting, theme and elements that go into making odyssey great then this is a good game for you. However, acknowledging the flaws when it comes to its repetitive grind needed to progress is crucial but all in all I don’t think its flaws take away enough of its positives to warrant it being anything a but a fun and interesting start to a potential rebirth of a once beloved series.

 

 

6/10 – A beautiful and hopeful foundation for a new era of the assassin’s creed series.

~Katoe


October 23rd, 2018 by Katoe
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Speed Paint:- Exclusive Game Of The Month Artwork

To celebrate the release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Sanitarium.Fm’s patrons received exclusive artwork of Lara Croft by our artist in residence, PhaseChan.

 

Check out the process behind the portrait below:

 

 

Love this illustration? Sanitarium.FM patrons get exclusive Game Of The Month artwork every month, support the station today to start receiving your prints.

 


October 8th, 2018 by Tavia
Posted in Game of the Month art, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

EGX 2018 Day One – Roundup

EGX 2018 has kicked off, and day one has given us some announcements of new games, sequels and older games on consoles they haven’t been before.

 

 

let’s look at the main stage developer sessions first, kicking off with –
WillowBrook Post – Excalibur Games

 

Anno 1800 – Ubisoft Blue Byte

 

Arca’s Path and the state of VR in 2018 – Dream Reality Interactive

 

11-11: Memories Retold – Aardman Studios

 

Twin Mirror – DONTNOD

 

The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man of Medan – Supermassive Games

 

Twin Mirror, The Dark Pictures and The Gardens Between number among the new releases shown, focusing mainly on darker more story based theatrical games while Cat Quest 2: The Lupus Empire is a quirky, bright RPG starring a cat and is the only direct sequel announced so far.

 

Not exactly sequels, Playlink: Chimparty adds some more games to the Playstation Playlink, while other titles such as Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition takes an existing game world setting with a new art style and story, Fist of the Northstar Lost Paradise sees Kenshiro enter a new play style by the team that brought us the Yakuza series, Persona 3 Dancing in the Moonlight + Persona 5 Dancing in the Sunlight is a new entry in the bizarre dancing spin-offs to the popular Persona RPG series, and lastly everyone’s favourite purple dragon is having his classic adventures updated for the PS4 with the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

 

And a quick round up of the games shown ont eh Playstation stream –

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dnhw4cxW0AANEm0.jpg

 

You can check out the trailers over in our playlist

 

That’s it for the day one roundup, a strong first day for lovers of new and classic gaming. make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for live blogging of the developer sessions!
~Sirhc


September 21st, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Technology, Xbox | No Comments »

Sunless Skies Early Access Review

SAIL THE STARS. BETRAY YOUR QUEEN. MURDER A SUN. Set a course for the heavens in your steam locomotive! Lose yourself in a changing universe where even time can be bought. A Victorian Gothic adventure for PC, Mac and Linux.

 

 

Sunless Skies is currently an early access title and is the sequel to Sunless Sea which itself is a sequel and spin off of Fallen London, the browser based text game that started the world of the sunless games. Sunless Skies is one part rogue-lite, one part trader sim, one part narrative focused RPG. The game is built on the Unity game engine and Failbetter’s own narrative platform StoryNexus. Failbetter has once again managed to make a charming game that captures the whimsical humor of their fallen London universe and the Lovecraftian adventures one could find there but now set in space on a steam powered locomotive.

 

 

For better or for worse the core of the gameplay remains the same as that of sunless sea, you create a captain, and you navigate your vessel through the dark and dangerous expanses of space trying to make your fortune or become famous. If you die that captain is dead permanently in the legacy mode but your new captain may inherit a higher starting level, money, and star chart. As of writing this I have gone through 6 captains, each having died hilariously and horribly from my own growing pains trying to learn my way around the map. You have to manage your sanity, your fuel, your supplies, and of course your cargo. The farther away from the starting port you get, the more dangerous things become, I was killed in two shots by an enemy locomotive while I was distracted by the beautifully creepy homestead I discovered. Combat is simple with you firing one of two weapons and trying to hit the enemy while at the same time trying not to get hit by said enemy. This usually end up revolving around you flying circles around the enemy to line up a clean shot to their starboard or port broadsides so you can avoid the front of the enemy as all weapons currently fire directly ahead of the locomotive.

 

 

Like any good narrative, the meat of the story and immersion is what happens between start and finish, and having the legacy of your previous captains help to make a unique story for each play through. Much like the heirs of your heroes in rogue castle changed gameplay, so too does your next captain. I have had captains that found devils and rats to be officers aboard their locomotive, each with their own story to pursue, and then i have had captains that instead found passengers that lead to their own stories and quests but never found the same officers. This randomness keeps things fresh and unique in between traveling from port to port when travel is getting tedious and the monotonousness of the dark space between ports sets in.

 

 

Sunless Skies is a great narrative and a superb time killer. The writing is great and the art is appealing. Failbetter has most assuredly learned from their previous titles and seem to have once again struck gold and I expect them to further tune the gameplay in this early access title as they continue to integrate player feedback. That being said, this game is not for everyone and I can only seriously recommend it to those looking for something slow paced to kill time and wanting to try something different or to fans of the old star trader style games as the game can get tedious and boring during long stretches of exploration if you are not into games like this. I had a blast playing this title and am looking forward to seeing how it progresses from here and have even gone to take a look at the browser based adventure game that started it all, Fallen London. I am giving Sunless Skies a 6 out of 10, I have fallen in love with this universe and can’t get enough of it.

 

 

Sunless Skies is available NOW on STEAM – https://store.steampowered.com/app/596970/SUNLESS_SKIES/

 

 

Sunless Skies gets a mindbending 10/10 from us!

~Darsch

 

 


September 17th, 2018 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

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