Knightmare Tower Review

 

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Type of Game:

Vertical Endless Runner (there really isn’t an appropriate genre for this game)

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Toss The Turtle, Canabalt, and Temple Run

The Good:

  • An excellent time waster that will keep you engaged throughout your 5 – 6 hour playthrough
  • Unlocks and in game purchases (no IAPs here) keep you coming back to play just “one more game”
    • The challenge system especially keeps you motivated as it constantly adds a new “quests” for the player to complete for in game gold (ex: reach a certain height without falling or blow up ‘x’ amount of monsters with a bomb)
  • Colorful and vibrant character/monster designs are welcome and keep the game feeling playful
  • Fast gameplay sessions make it an excellent game to load up when you just want a quick game fix
  • Numerous enemy types make for a nice variety of game strategy as they are introduced deliberately at appropriate intervals of progression 
  • Playing with a gamepad is intuitive and responsive, but not the best way to play the game (see below)

The Bad:

  • Being a fan of the free flash version I was expecting the game to feature mouse controls, which were the best way to play the game. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing mouse controls are not part of the game
  • The overall length of the main game is only about 4-5 hours, which  is quite short. While it features an endless mode, I never felt compelled to jump into that due to the lack of an end goal

Can you play it while the children are awake?:

The gore is there. The monsters are split apart in a cartoony colorful way, but they are still split apart. I had no problem let my eight year old watch, but anything younger may be sketchy.

Did I make time to complete it?

The main game was a blast and well worth the time I spent playing it. The game plays like a premium iPad title and it should be purchased with that in mind. It is to be play in short spurts and enjoyed in a few sessions. I found it held my interest enough to complete it, so as I normally don’t complete games that is a compliment in and of itself. It is well worth the budget price of $3.99

Recommended Purchase Price:

$3.99

or

100% of current retail value of $3.99

Reviewer:

MisterS42

Game Information:

Trailer:

Link to Knightmare Tower’s Steam page for full game information

Noir Syndrome Review

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Type of Game:

Side-scrolling detective simulator

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

The Good:

  • The tutorial is short, to the point, and drops you right into the game directly afterward.
  • The music is great, if not slightly stock-sounding.
  • The overall feel of the game is somewhere between Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? and Gunpoint (the latter of which is mainly due to the resemblance of the main characters).
  • It’s genuinely difficult to pin down a suspect, and the procedural nature of the clues/suspects makes it feel like you’re doing actual detective work.
  • Related to the above, there is a real sense of accomplishment when you manage to nab the right suspect.

The Bad:

  • The action areas tend to overlap. For example: (spoilers ahead) If a woman is standing in front of the mob’s safe, you have to wait for her to move before you can interact with her, otherwise you might end up accidentally stealing from the mob.
  • Similar to the above, if a character is standing in front of a stairway/elevator, you have to wait for them to move before you can do anything.
  • The characters are very nondescript. It would’ve been nice to have some sort of indicator above each character after you’ve talked to them with at least their name.
  • Each game has the same background story, with only the culprit changing each time. After two cases in a row, I didn’t feel like playing a third. The badges (in-game achievements) system might be tempting, but doesn’t look like it provides enough replayability.
  • The notifications of areas of interest don’t remain on the map longer than a day or two. Would be nice to have them remain until you’re able to visit each area.

The Writing:

This is a game primarily about talking to people. Without any voiceovers, you have only the text from each character upon which to base your accusations. That being said, I was disappointed that the same lines get repeated by many different characters. It really destroyed any sense of these characters being unique, or individuals at all. When you talk to two characters of the same gender, the only thing differentiating character A from character B was their name.

Did I make time to complete it?

I’ve shot or arrested the wrong suspect many, many times. I’ve managed to catch the right guy/girl twice.

Recommended Purchase Price:

Despite The Bad, for under $5 this game is worth checking out if you like detective-themed games.

or

100% of current retail value (during the Steam Summer sale) of $4.68

Reviewer:

Mudlab

Disclaimer: Gamer’s Glance was provided a review copy of this game

Game Information:

Link to Noir Syndrome’s Steam page for full game information

Glancing Interview – Xenonauts

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Chris England of Goldhawk Interactive participated in one of GG’s Glancing Interviews this week to talk about their latest release Xenonauts:


GG: Xenonauts is an obvious tribute to the original XCOM games released in 1990s. What inspired your team to create such an experience? Did the release of XCOM: Enemy Within affect your development at all?

CE: We’re all huge fans of the original game and started work on it five years ago, before XCOM was announced. At that time we were wondering why nobody had managed a proper remake of the classic game and thought that an indie studio would be well-placed to create one. There were a huge number of X-Com fans out there who were very supportive of the project, so I guess we were proved right! It’s also nice to be able to introduce X-Com to a whole new generation of gamers who may not even have been born when the original game came out.

X:COM: Enemy Unknown didn’t really force us to change our development plans that much. That game plays quite differently to ours – it’s a more progressive remake of X-Com, whereas we went for a more faithful remake. In the end I think it probably boosted our sales by bringing a lot of extra attention on the genre (and by extension us) and the X-Com franchise itself.

GG: Xenonauts does not feature a typical “hand-holding” starting tutorial mission, but instead goes straight into the action while pop-ups explain the various mechanics of the game. It serves the same purpose, but the tutorial method deviates from many other games of this nature. What led the team to make this design choice?

CE: Tutorial missions require all sorts of special coding and often voice acting too – and work best for simple games without the same degree of complexity as a game like Xenonauts has. We felt our time was better spent on the core mechanics of the game given that the majority of players would already have played X-Com games and wouldn’t need a tutorial. However, we provided explanatory pop-ups, a detailed manual and a small Quickstart Guide that explains all the basic principles of the game in three or four pages, so if a player is new to the genre then they can still learn the ropes.

GG: Xenonauts recently came out of Steam’s Early-Access program. How was the overall experience? Did community feedback ever change the course of your intended development plan?

CE: It was a very good experience overall, mostly because we were one of the first games to arrive on the service and we made good sales before it became too cluttered. The extra money raised allowed us extra time working on polishing the game prior to release, and made the final game much stronger as a result. We didn’t use the Steam community forums too much – we have our own official forums where we are very active and often discuss design issues with the community.

GG: And finally, if you were an alien attacking Earth what would your alien name be and why?

CE: I’d probably be a Cylon (maybe I already am?) – I thought they were brilliant bad guys in the new BSG series. Looking like humans would make invading Earth pretty easy too!


Xenonauts is currently available on Steam

- MisterS42

 

The Forest “Redlight, Greenlight?” Review

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Type of Game:

First Person Survival Horror

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Rust, DayZ, and to a lesser degree The Stomping Ground

The Good:

  • A refreshing take on the survival/crafting genre that emphasizes narrative more than its competitors.
  • The large and open world creates an exciting setting for exploration and resource gathering.
    • Thankfully most of the world (that I’ve seen so far) has elements that keep it interesting. While a lot of the game finds the player navigating a forest (SURPRISE!) you’ll find a number of set pieces and environments that make it worth venturing further.
  • The Forest is very difficult, as a survival game should be. Resources must be gathered and shelter crafted. All the while you are being observed/stalked by the island’s frightening inhabitants. Finding the right balance of finding shelter, warding off the natives, and venturing out is arduous but rewarding. It almost has a roguelike or PDL feel about it.
  • The Forest feels like an interactive version of the TV show Lost. As I played I experienced similar feelings of wonder and intrigue that I did with the plot of the show.
  • The crafting system is quite different from most crafting games I played. The player uses a Survival Book to identify items that they want to craft. Once selected, you place the outline of the object on the ground, which visually features each of the resources needed to craft the item. As you begin adding resources you can see them being added to the overall crafted item in real time. It is a small detail, but very immersive and intuitive.
  • Resource gathering also has a neat way about it. One example is wood: wood comes from trees that you literally have to chop down (chunks of it slowly remove as you chop) and then harvest from the fallen tree, which actually falls down with force and physics.
  • Resource management is handled by a backpack with limited space, which you have to manage in real time. Combining objects requires you to place them together in the middle of the satchel. I found this to be a welcome addition to immersion factor.
  • For the first time when playing a “survival” game, I felt like I was using actual survival techniques to stay alive. Questions that one would really ask themselves in a survival situation were constantly running through my mind: “Should I stay close to the plane wreckage and build shelter here, as there is an abundance of supplies? Do I venture further away so that I potentially steer clear of the natives? What if I find a cave that will offer the security of only having to protect one entrance?” etc.

The Bad:

  • There a numerous graphical glitches that pop up occasionally. Just checking out the community boards on Steam will enlighten you to the extent of these glitches. Some of these are TERRIFYING!
  • While there is definitely plenty to see and do in the current build, the game seems to be missing more elaborate fauna and flora. It would add a lot to the already enjoyable survival experience.
  • As enjoyable as the plot/setting is, I feel like there should be some further incentive to explore. I wouldn’t want anything that holds my hand through the narrative, but some elusive shrines or hidden lore would be welcome.

Can you play it while the children are awake?:

Absolutely not. The main screen depicts a gruesome vigil that unintentionally terrified my six year old when he woke up from his nap. This game is labeled a survival horror game for a reason. 

Did I make time to complete it?

The game doesn’t appear to have an ending, as such. At my best I survived a whopping three days on the island, which I felt was an accomplishment.

Redlight or Greenlight?

green

This game is currently at a greenlight.

While a single player survival horror game may sound like it would get stagnant quickly, the intelligently designed environment and intriguing overall game design keep it from getting old. The Forest excels in areas that I never knew were lacking from other survival games: purpose, intrigue, and design. I went into it expecting another DayZ clone, but ended up enjoying something quite unique. This all from a game that isn’t even close to completion. As long as the development team doesn’t deviate from the core gameplay fundamentals, the updates to this game should end up being free DLC to early backers.

This game is well worth the $14.99 asking price.

Reviewer:

MisterS42

Game Information:

Link to The Forest’s Steam page for full game information

Jagged Alliance Flashback “Redlight, Greenlight?” Review

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Type of Game:

Third Person Turn Based Tactical Action

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

XCOM, The Original Jagged Alliances, and to a lesser degree Final Fantasy Tactics

The Good:

  • Combat and gameplay is just as well crafted as the original two, which is a huge leap in enjoyability over the lacking Back In Action game
  • The enemy AI is actually formidable in Flashback, which really pushes you to make the right tactical decisions at every turn
  • Fog of war returns to this version, which creates a much better environment for strategy and challenge
  • The overall humor to the game is very tongue-in-cheek and, again, harkens back to the original Jagged Alliances
  • The difficulty level is very high and can create some very tense moments
    • For example: Being pinned down with only one squad member left knowing that exposing yourself to cover would be your doom, but being forced to do so in order to take a decent shot at the last remaining enemy. Shooting at his torso would increase your chances of accuracy, but would only wound him. Instead you aim for the head and go for the killshot. You miss and immediately pay the price with your life. Restart mission.
  • Even as Early Access, the game has an active modding community that makes full use of the Steam Workshop. This could greatly increase your playtime with the game while waiting for its full release.
  • There are many systems in place that haven’t been fleshed out yet, but show great potential.
    • These include things like: XP skill progression system, equipment loadouts, and numerous weapon types

The Bad:

  • The game does not have a decent User Interface yet, which leads to confusing directives and less than intuitive menu navigation
  • Bugs, as expected, are numerous. Some examples:
    • Inventory management screens that won’t disappear after you leave them
    • Buying mercs that don’t show up on your next assignment
    • Stuck on a mission that won’t progress even after its objectives have been completed
  • There isn’t a full-fledged tutorial yet, which means I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the mechanics. I imagine I still haven’t quite figuring out the proper way to play the game.
  • This may just be my personal preference, but the camera is very difficult to manipulate. The default setting does not move with the arrows, but first needs to be rotated correctly. Not a game breaker, but a pain the butt none-the-less.
  • The depth to the game just isn’t there yet, which will turn away many that are looking for a deep Jagged Alliance experience. The story isn’t complete and the missions are not all implemented. Storylines are completely flushed out and characters aren’t fully developed.

Can you play it while the children are awake?:

While the game doesn’t have the most realistic graphics, the blood and death are still present. I would not allow my children to watch me play it, but I imagine it would be fine for some that are more mature.

Did I make time to complete it?

The version played was not complete, but I played what was there. The gameplay, as I mentioned before, was very enjoyable. I don’t imagine I will be firing it up again until the game is out of Early Access, however, because I definitely found myself wanting a deeper experience.

Redlight or Greenlight?

redt

 

This game is currently at a redlight.

Jagged Alliance: Flashback is a great starting point for a long awaited reboot of the original Jagged Alliance games. However, the content that is currently available just isn’t worth the $44.99 asking price. At this point I can guarantee the game will be worth the wait when it comes out, but only purchase it at full price if you are willing to support developers that will do the Jagged Alliance brand the justice it deserves. Do not purchase it expecting a fulfilling gaming experience.

Reviewer:

MisterS42

Game Information:

Link to Jagged Alliance: Flashback’s Steam page for full game information

Wolfenstein: The New Order Review

 

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Type of Game:

First Person Shooter

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

The new Shadow Warrior, Serious Sam series, and some of the older Wolfenstein games

The Good:

  • The tone of this game is a major departure from the uber-serious tone of previous games in this series. The tone is lighter and less bound by reality (and in some of the series, mysticism) than previous Wolfenstein titles. It’s a good reflection of the ultimate source material, Wolfenstein 3D. In summary, it’s really fun and seems to know it.
  • You can dual wield every weapon. Even knives and sniper rifles. See the above note.
  • Features returning for this game from the original include attack dogs, treasure hunting, and the ability to eat dog food. I can’t stress how fantastic this is for anyone (like me) who grew up with the original.
  • The game’s difficulty gradually ramps up, and only rarely does it become stiflingly difficult. It balances its pacing very well.
  • The levels are well designed and very creative. Additionally, the easter eggs like treasure, Enigma codes, and scattered articles, are plentiful.
  • I don’t normally notice the soundtrack for this kind of game, but this is an exception. I thought the soundtrack for this game was remarkably well done.
  • There is no multiplayer, and since I generally don’t invest enough time to get good but still feel obligated to play it, I only ever end up frustrated. So yes, this is a positive.

The Bad (all negatives have to do with the storyline so… SPOILERS):

  • There are points during the game in which I believed there was a lack of communication between the voice actors/writers and the director of this game. Particularly when B.J. is growling though his monologue of childhood memories, I had to remind myself that this is a game where I can eat dog food, dual wield sniper rifles, and infiltrate a moon base (in 1960, no less).
  • B.J. wakes up in an asylum after his first encounter with Deathshead, semi-conscious but unable to move, and remains unable to move for fourteen years. When he is finally able to get up and start the killing again, he’s still a mass of ripped muscle. I mean, this dude is a beefcake. But after not moving for FOURTEEN YEARS? Were they injecting him with HGH the entire time?!? Come on. Give me a montage where he brings himself back, something. There’s unrealistic, and then there’s this.

While I’m picking nits…

Not much this time. This game is remarkably clean. The only thing I noticed was that sometimes if I turn around quickly the game can’t keep up with which doors are open and which are closed, so there is a split second where there does not appear to be a door, then it appears. This happened infrequently however. No game breakers, no serious bugs. Machine Games QA FTW.

Did I make time to complete it?:

My first playthrough took fifteen hours. I did not get every single unlockable, however, and there is a decision early in the game (it saves one character while killing another) that I would like to change and see the story from that perspective. So this game will probably clock in at 25-30 hours for me.

Recommended Purchase Price:

Not $59.99, but only because I am philosophically against paying the same amount for a digital download as I do for a physical product. I picked it up for $35 and was happy with that, but I’d have gone as high as $45.

or

75% of current retail value of $59.99

Reviewer:

Rod Kimble

Game Information:

Link to Wolfenstein The New Order’s Steam page for full game information

Hack ‘n’ Slash “Redlight, Greenlight?” Review

 

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Type of Game:

Action/Adventure Hack and Slash Puzzle Coding Simulation (phew!)

Version Played:

Early Access PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

The Legend of Zelda, 3D Dot Heroes, and, to a lesser degree, Psychonauts (mostly due to design and humor)

The Good:

  • The game maintains DoubleFine’s wonderful quirky sense of humor, game design aesthetic, and overall charm.
  • The “hacking” gameplay mechanic is a really unique and fun design choice. It basically allows you to edit the actual code of the game objects, which can lead to some enjoyable puzzles.
  • While the game begins similar to an action/adventure game, in that it focuses on combat more than elaborate “hacking,” it quickly transitions into a full-fledged puzzle game that focuses on coding solutions to problems.
  • The plot and storyline of the game is interesting and fresh in that “breaking the 4th wall” way.
  • The early-game code tweaking is empowering and gives a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you solve a puzzle in an unique way.
  • Playing around with the variables of objects, such as their damage settings and idle settings, can create some unintentionally funny moments.

The Bad:

  • As advertised before each play session there are a plethora of bugs, glitches, and missing features in this Alpha build. Some of the more bothersome ones were as follows:
    • There is no way to exit the game. It will continue to run until you force the application to close using your operating system. Anyone that doesn’t have a decent understanding of computing will be completely lost and frustrated. This has thankfully been patched on May 30th with a complete menu interface when using ESC in game.
    • Walking into a new area put me in the scenery that was off the main path, which caused me to keep from progressing. Using the “time reverse” ability simply replicated it each time. I was forced to start over.
  • The game took me about two hours to complete the currently contained four Acts (a final fifth one is planned), but unless the final act takes a considerable amount of time to complete, I feel as though the game is too short.
  • The puzzles on the fourth Act were considerably more tedious than fun. The early debugging moments of accomplishment were quickly replaced with a monotonous requirement to run from one place to another memorizing bits of code.

Can you play it while the children are awake?

Yes! In fact I had a fun learning moment with my eight year old regarding the settings on each of the objects I was debugging. It may have piqued an interest in coding for him.

Did I make time to complete it?

I finished what was currently available, which were four Acts in total. It took me about two hours to complete.

Redlight or Greenlight?

redt

 

This game is currently at a redlight.

I do not feel the content that is currently offered is enjoyable enough for a $19.99 purchase. The game has too many game-breaking bugs and missing features. That said, I am sure that it will be well worth that price when they’ve made some substantial updates. If you are a fan of unique gaming ideas then I would encourage you to purchase it as a support mechanism as the end product will be well worth it. The game has a ton of potential, but is being held back in its current form.

Reviewer:

MisterS42

Game Information:

Link to Hack ‘n’ Slash’s Steam page for full game information

Glancing Interview – Coin Crypt

 

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Greg Lobanov of Dumb & Fat Games participated in one of GG’s Glancing Interviews this week to talk about his latest project Coin Crypt:


GG: Where did the concept for Coin Crypt come from??

GL: It came from the coalescence of lots of smaller ideas. I was inspired by deck-building games like Dominion and wanted to make a game that revolved around that, and had neat ideas about how to have a single sort of inventory serve as your currency, stats, items, spells etc. where in a typical RPG those would all be different systems. Roguelike structure ended up being an elegant solution to make that game type work, and coins were a natural fit for the kind of gameplay I wanted. I’m really into the idea of adding “magic” to ordinary things in a way that might inspire kids to think about their world more imaginatively, the same way Yu-Gi-Oh made cards seem mythical and powerful. That was a big part of why I wanted to make a game like this. :)

GG: What has been your favorite part of working on an Early-Access title? In hindsight, would you have preferred to have waited until the game was finished before releasing on Steam? Why or why not?

GL: For Coin Crypt, it’s been *perfect.* From the start the game’s been fully playable; its systems make for a fun playground with lots of room to grow, expand and experiment. Putting it in the hands of people was a great way to get ideas for how the game should grow and what people want out of it.

GG: Coin Crypt has undergone substantial changes since its appearance on Steam. The largest being the overhaul of the combat system. What drives these updates and have you ever felt like you were making a change that wasn’t part of your original vision?

GL: Sometimes I’ll change things to match what I think people want out of the game. But I’m also driven by my own style and design goals. I’m really inspired by the concept of this game, and have found myself wanting to push the design to make it something amazing and special, because I want to live up to the quality of its underlying themes and ideas. That was the motivation behind some of the more unexpected changes like my experimentation with combat. I don’t see the game as having a grand “vision” that it’s moving forward into; like the ideation, the game’s individual elements have all come about piece by piece as I explore what I can do with it.

GG: And finally, if you were a form of currency which denomination would you be? Why?

GL: Probably Canadian dollars? They’re worth just a little more than US currency and they come in silly-named coins like Loonies and Toonies.


Coin Crypt is currently available on Steam as an Early Access Title.

Read our “Redlight, Greenlight?” review here: Link

- MisterS42

 

Batman: Arkham Origins – Cold, Cold Heart DLC Review

 

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Type of Game:

Action/Platformer with RPG-type character progression and unlocks

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

The previous Arkham games, Assassin’s Creed games, and every game which has
attempted to rip either of those two series off.

Preface:

In my review for Arkham Origins, I noted a number of game-breaking bugs. I am sorry to say that WB Montreal patched only a few of these, and actually made the Burnley Tower issue worse by making some of the buildings surrounding it physically intangible (as in, you literally fly straight through them). They coupled their poor attitude towards releasing a very broken game with an announcement some months later that they would no longer be patching the main game and were focused on DLC. I remember thinking, “So your plan is to build DLC on top of a broken game? What could POSSIBLY go wrong?”

Oy vey.

As you might have guessed from the DLC title, the storyline DLC Cold Cold Heart (which is a lame lame title) is the origin story of Mister Freeze.

Minor spoilers ahead

The Good:

  • Getting to navigate Wayne Manor is cool and those levels aren’t poorly designed. Plus Alfred regularly smarms the goons who are holding him hostage.
  • Thermal batarangs look pretty kickass and are actually used in a neat way.

The Bad:

  • The story is completely predictable for anyone who is even remotely familiar with Mr. Freeze, even if your only familiarity comes from his appearance in Arkham City.
  • The main story arc takes place in an artificially limited version of Gotham (two districts) and features new buildings and girders which happen to be installed over outdoor stealth sections. For reference, this story also takes place EXACTLY one week after Arkham Origins… so in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, which as we all know is the high point of activitiy for construction crews, Gotham City construction workers managed to put up (or at best, relabel) a new skyscraper for GothCorp, AND install girders that support no structural purpose over bad guy hangouts. This is what happens when the DLC is concepted and sketched out AFTER Gotham City is designed and modeled.
  • The first two guards you encounter (the ones with the codes) use the same model and skin. This is especially sloppy considering there are other, non-interactable guards with different models later in the level.
  • Whoever made the decision to zoom in during the initial dialogue sequence between Alfred and Bruce should be fired. Both Alfred and Bruce’s lips appear to come a good inch away from their faces while speaking, something which is not noticeable in later dialogue sequences because they are further zoomed out. It genuinely looks like a goofy Garry’s Mod face.
  • The DLC is noticeably padded in multiple places – first, with Anarky’s “riots” (yes this is the same Anarky you apprehended a week before in the main game). By “riots,” I mean five or six Anarky guys standing around chatting. Then breaking up the parts of the Cryo Drill, which are very large but apparently fit well within his utility belt pouches, because why not? There are another couple of instances, but I’m too bored to point them out.

While I’m picking nits…

  • Don’t land too near any frozen guard, or you will be caught in an infinite loop of hovering and attempting to land.
  • Don’t attempt to leave the game before completing a mission objective (especially clearing a room) unless you like having to start the DLC over from scratch – this causes the DLC to clear the room of baddies, and if you were required to interrogate any of them in order to progress, well eff you.
  • Grappling is just as buggy and weird as in the main game – you’re going to say to yourself “Why can’t I grapple there?” A LOT. I particularly liked it when I grapple to a point just below an armed guard to perform a ledge takedown, only to have Batman hop the ledge and stand in front of the bad guy. Nice stealth, bro.
  • Especially on stairs, performing a stealth or ground takedown is buggy, will cause the body to glitch partially through the stairs, and occasionally bounce up wildly into the ceiling.
  • You will still randomly drop combos, especially when most of the enemies are down but not unconscious. I know someone will say this so let me go ahead and ask the question – “But y don’t u use ground takdown!!1!” Uh, because the animation is so long that by the time you are finished performing it, anyone else who was on the ground is up and already hitting you or about to.
  • Using alternate suits in the main game can and will crash the game under random conditions. This was particularly a problem with the Brightest Day suit.

The worst part of this, though, (read the latest patch note comments for reference) is that people are actively swearing off Batman video games because of how broken this game is. A lot of them don’t realize that this is the only Arkham game WB Montreal ever made, and the two previous (and upcoming Arkham Knight) were made by Rocksteady. I mean, if I were Rocksteady, I would actually draft a press release concerning their disappointment with Arkham Origins, and clarifying that they didn’t make it. If Arkham Kinght underperforms because of this glitchy mess, that would be a real shame.

Did I make time to complete it?:

Yes

Recommended Purchase Price:

At the end of the day, I got the Season Pass on sale at Amazon for $8. And I still feel like I got ripped off. Don’t buy either the DLC or the main game unless you don’t have enough frustration in your life. I wouldn’t even recommend this to diehard Batman fans.

Reviewer:

Rod Kimble

Game Information:

Link to Batman: Arkham Origin DLC Cold Cold Heart’s Steam page for full game information

The Dungeoning Review

 

the-dungeoning

Type of Game:

2D Action Platformer with PDL elements

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Rogue Legacy, Spelunky, Legend of Dungeon and to a lesser degree Dark Souls

The Good:

  • Randomly generated dungeons that contain secret rooms, vendors, enemies and treasure
  • The strategic gameplay consists of a careful balance between offense (swordplay, archery, and magic) and defense (shield blocking, player positioning, and enemy avoidance)

    • This gameplay structure really supports the similarities between it and Demon/Dark Souls
  • The pixelated graphical design of the game is quite enjoyable and shares similar lighting effects with Legend of Dungeon
  • A plethora of items await the player on their quest such as swords, bows, rings, potions, wands, etc…
  • A progression system that boosts the player’s strength, vitality, defense, and magic though some are more beneficial than others (See The Bad)
    • Scrolls can be looted, which also level up these stats
  • The a fore-mentioned rings can add unique tweaks to the gameplay, such as sacrificing speed to increase strength

The Bad:

  • The length of the game is entirely too short to be considered a contender in the growing Steam catalogue of PDLs and roguelikes
    • Just when I was starting to feel as though I was getting into a rhythm with the game, it abruptly ended with limited fanfare
  • Due to the lack of variety in level design, weapon-type options, and character choices: a player would have a tough time being compelled to continue playing The Dungeoning after their brief first run
    • It doesn’t help that there are no achievements or unlocks as the player progresses in the game (outside of NewGame+, which is more of the same)
  • While the player is given four different areas to increase at each level-up, strength appears to be the only one worth sticking points into as the increased health can greatly improve the player’s chances of success
  • The difficulty level is not as hard as advertised
    • While the player will die during their first dungeon run attempts, this is primarily due to the mild learning curve
    • Once the player has figured out the controls of the game, it is quite easy to plod deliberately through to the end
  • While story sometimes takes a backseat in PDLs, the complete absence of one in The Dungeoning doesn’t help its longevity factor

Can you play it while the children are awake?:

Yes. The pixelated violence does not overdo it with gore and the damage indicator is an old school flash instead of a blood animation.

Did I make time to complete it?

Yes, but simply because it was so short to do so. My winning play-through took me an hour and a half to complete. There are evidently numerous new game plus iterations, but I never felt compelled to progress farther than NewGame+.

Recommended Purchase Price:

The Dungeoning was a fun game to play, but over far too quickly. While I like the unique strategic combat elements a lot, its lack of depth and replay-ability really don’t help it stand out among the crowded genre of roguelikes or PDLs. I would recommend picking this up on a Steam sale for $4.99

or

42% of current retail value of $11.99

Reviewer:

MisterS42

Game Information:

Desura’s Trailer for The Dungeoning:

Link to The Dungeoning’s Steam page for full game information

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