Capsule Reviews, The Third: Some RPGs

Let’s see now. I’m trying to shoehorn a load of stuff into my schedule this year, so I’ve taken to compiling certain games and films into shorter, easier to digest capsule reviews that don’t drag on like my longer boring full meal posts. Don’t worry, those longer reviews aren’t gone at all. I’m just saving up my currently lower than usual energy stores for those more epic length posts. Anyway, let’s get cracking:

 

 

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One More Dungeon (PC/PS4/PS3/Vita/Switch/Xbox One) – Not quite a RPG and more of a cross between a first-person shooter and a perma-death packed randomly generated roguelike, OMD’s in your face pixel art will seem garish to some players, but I liked it quite a lot. The game is a challenging bit of fun that will kill your character off constantly, but somehow keeps you coming back for more. Points earned via playing can be used to unlock assorted modifiers that make playing somewhat easier or a great deal harder, so how tough things get is eventually your call.

There’s a sanity level to consider and the game’s overall vibe reminded me a tiny bit of Eldritch, another retro-style FPS, although that game had a more Lovecraftian vibe going for it. OMD’s low price point and speedy gameplay keep it fun going even if you end up buying the farm a wee bit too much. This is one of those games that you’ll go back to a over and over, provided you like what you see and/or it grows on you. Developer Stately Snail and Ratalaika Games (who handled the port) deserve a tip of the cap for this one.

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Etrian Odyssey V: The Big Blowout Strikes

How “funny” is this? Yesterday I get my Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond The Myth review code (Thanks, Atlus!) and I’m giddy about that because it’s been a really good year for games and EO has been consistently awesome (although it needs to be on a more powerful system, in my opinion). Having put some quality time into the recent eShop demo meant I’d start off with a party pretty prepared for the challenge ahead (whee!). So, I fire up the game and play for a few hours until I need to recharge my 2DS, whip out the AC adapter, plug it in and about a minute into recharging… the adapter ups and dies on me. One word sprung to mind and yes, I have the WORST luck with technology of anyone I know.

(Sings) I’m Mister Tech Miser, I’m Mister Dumb… (now I need to write the rest of this at some point, but with my luck, the I’ll cut myself and bleed on the keyboard, which will summon a demon I can’t control or something) – back in a bit. It’s a good thing I have a few other games to review on systems that still work while I wait for my replacement charger to show up.

-GW

Review: Rock of Ages II: Bigger & Boulder (PS4)

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Warning: This review may be full of rock puns or something. Or not, as I’m writing this on the fly between campaign missions. Rock of Ages II: Bigger & Boulder is a must buy right out of the game if you love your games surreal, physics-based and packed with artistic genius that might roll over the heads of some gamers who won’t “get” the all-out insanity here at all. Granted, developer ACE Team has always gone out of its way to lace their games with stylistic influences that are far from the norm when it comes to pegging them with a particular style. But here, you get the kind of mind-bending overkill that’s constantly making you smile or burst out laughing because pulling off humor so well in a game like this makes it a total blast.

There’s a single player mode as well as co-op and online play for up to four. But at heart this is a spin on a few genres from racing to tower defense, to bowling with a dash of puzzle elements thrown in for good measure than can be fully enjoyed solo. Imagine if Rampart, Super Monkey Ball, and Marble Madness had a child raised on a steady diet of Monty Python animation while reading art history books for fun and you’re about a tenth of the way into what’s going on here. The game is also quite challenging and definitely not a cakewalk on the more difficult settings. That said, prepare to let the good times roll as you rock on with Atlas as he engages in rolling combat with assorted foes in not at all historically accurate settings.

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Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Hands-On: Vallhalla Yeah, Vanillaware is BOSS

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Back in 2007, Odin Sphere came to the PlayStation 2 as a gorgeous yet flawed masterpiece. Developed by Vanillaware, the game’s sumptuous visuals and challenging gameplay were only hampered by rather pesky slowdown and a few clumsy design choices. When Vanillaware announced it was bringing the game out on PS4, PS3 and Vita, one of the concerns expressed by fans was whether or not the game would be a straightforward HD update that didn’t fix some of the issues. Well, let’s just say after about two weeks with the Vita version of Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, any concerns about those problems can be erased completely.

The game (set for a retail and digital release June 7 for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita) has been redone using the same art assets, but with enhanced backdrops and *many* new major to minor gameplay tweaks that make this the best version of the game you’ll ever play. Combat has been made more fluid and accessible, blocking actually works, item, magic, and potion use is simpler and the game is running at a beautiful 60 frames per second. If that wasn’t enough, Vanillaware has updated the leveling and skills system, polished up the cooking stuff, and overall has made what’s going to be forever known as THE definitive version of an instant classic. Oh, and for those who want to compare, the original version is also included as part of the package, making this an even better must-buy deal.

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Fans of the original who own PS4s can, should and NEED to get the demo from PSN. Like NOW. There’s a Vita demo coming soon and yes, it’s going to be a must download and play experience. I’d say more, but that’s dipping a toe into review territory. Just mark the date, get your wallet ready or if you’re into pre-ordering, go do that stuff you do best and hope all your omake gets shipped in a BOX as it shouldhttps://fanboydestroy.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=31367&action=trash&_wpnonce=a79f89fd60. Yeah, I’m talking to YOU, Amazon, GameStop, Best Buy, EB Games and anywhere else stuff just gets tossed in a flimsy bubble mailer and kicked onto the back of a truck. A game this stellar deserves the kid gloves.

Back in a bit with more on this gem. Now, about a proper Princess Crown remake… hey Vanillaware and Atlus, can we talk?

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir PS4 Demo Out Now: A Dish of VanillaWare For Dessert Sounds Grand

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If you own a PlayStation 4, you can do yourself a HUGE favor today and download the demo for Odin Sphere Leifthrasir NOW on PSN. The game isn’t arriving until June 7, but you’ll see that this revived and remastered PS2 game looks absolutely gorgeous and runs at a wonderful 60fps. There’s also a VERY nice surprise for those who remember the original release, but I shall let you see for yourself what that is. I’d say more, but the embargo isn’t over until tomorrow and I don’t want to get smited by my favorite PR guy. This pairing of Atlus and Sega is a match made in gaming heaven.

Persona 5’s New Trailer Is A Game-Selling Jaw Dropper


 

Well, now. Or: Holy WOW, Persona 5 cannot come out soon enough. While I still miss the absolutely gorgeous and intentionally strange artwork of the great Kaneko Kazuma, Shigenori Soejima’s absolutely lovely work is a fine enough homage to Kazuma’s style that it makes me happy to see it work so flawlessly. That animation and new game engine flow like buttah, the new game looks like it’s going to play faster and that sexy interface and battle results screens? Yup. SOLD. I’d write more, but I need to go make dinner and then figure out how to escape into the future when this PS3/PS4 exclusive drops and be the first one to grab a copy, play it and NOT tell anyone I did so until it’s time to let loose a full review.

Daydreamer: Awakened Edition – Atlus Gets The Truly Trippy Platformer to PS4, Xbox One


 

Thanks to so darn many indie games dropping from the sky these days (it’s a digital monsoon at times!), I’d never even heard of the one man show called Roland Studios or its wild PC game Daydreamer until I got word that Atlus was handling the PS4 (May 31, 2016) and Xbox One (June 3, 2016) publishing in North America. Updated with enhanced features and now called Daydreamer: Awakened Edition, all you need to do is ogle that mind-bending weirdness above and you know you’re in for a trip and a half.

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If you like reading a bit more and that laser-eyed bunny above hasn’t freaked you out too much, here’s what to expect in the updated console version:

Daydreamer: Awakened Edition features:

• Twitchy Retro Gameplay – Those who live for intense side-scrolling, platforming, and shooting action will feel right at home, because players will shoot, whip, shield, jump, and warp their way to the Earth’s core. The design choices in the game harken back to gaming’s arcade classics!

• A Varied Combat System – With a dearth of different weapons and abilities at the daydreamer’s disposal, she will eradicate aliens with energy, homing, ray, helix, and flamethrower blasters, and melee mutants with her whips. She also has the abilities to shield against damage, warp to hard-to-reach areas, slow down time, and more. But they don’t come cheap—players must hunt for Psymatter in order to buy the weapons and items that will aid her along her hazardous journey.

• Powerful Pets – Psymatter also can be used to purchase/sustain a loyal pet companion to stay by your side to the death (or until you run out of Psymatter). From fuzzy turtles to vicious weasels, pets will offer invaluable support in varied forms to the daydreamer.

• Frightening Bosses – If normal aliens, mutants, robots, and bugs aren’t bad enough, the bosses of Daydreamer: Awakened Edition are truly terrifying to behold. The disturbing Mr. Smiles, the repulsive Grimeboy, and ferocious, but still kind of cute, Rabies Rabbit are just some of the creepy boss monsters brought to life in the game.

• Numerous Improvements – Since this is the Awakened Edition, that means there are a multitude of improvements and additions to the original release. Besides gameplay tweaks and balancing, there are now more difficulties, enhanced controls, improved combat, a ranked mode/leaderboard for the competitive, world map function, a brand new ending, and much more.

 

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That sounds like a plan to me, folks. The strangeness will commence on those two newer platforms on the dates noted above. Hopefully the PC version will get the same updates as I know some gamers who only do their thing on PC will want what everyone else is having.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir: Plain Vanillaware Is Awesome, Omake Makes It Even Tastier

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I don’t believe in magic at all, but whatever George Kamitani and Vanillaware are using for creative energy, it needs to be packaged and sold at cost just so more game developers can reap the rewards. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, the upcoming HD reworking of the PlayStation 2 classic looks as if it will introduce a new and larger legion of fans to the game when it ships out for PS4, PS3 and Vita on June 7, 2016. While North Amrican PS4 owners looking to collect the most omake luck out big time with the limited Storybook Edition at $79.99, PS4, PS3, and Vita-only owners in NA who pre-order can score a softcover version of that hardcover 64-page art book in the Storybook Edition. Continue reading

PC Review: The Deadly Tower of Monsters

SCARLET_MODEL_1Platform: PC (also on PS4)

Developer: ACE Team

Publisher: Atlus

# of Players: 1

MSRP: $14.99

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Score: B+ (85%)

 

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Yep, they’ve gone and done it again. Chilean developer ACE Team’s latest game, The Deadly Tower of Monsters is a solid and fun ride that’s going to tickle the fancy of those gamers young to old with a knowledgeable love for “B” movies, primarily of the sci-fi variety. The Unreal engine-powered stylized visuals look great, and the offbeat humor comes from a few angles expected and surprising. While the game may not seem all that lengthy, finding some of its secrets will take some effort. A few flaws (that can be patched) keep it from perfection, but overall this is one of those great little sleepers you’ll want to take for a spin and add to your game library.

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Now Playing: The Deadly Tower of Monsters

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I love it when a plan comes together. While I can’t reveal anything score-wise until the review embargo lifts, ACE Team’s latest game is so far, pretty awesome. Especially if you love old “B” sci-fi flicks from the last century in all their intentional and unintended cheesy glory. That is all (for now). Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some chuckling whilst playing to do.