Review: SEGA AGES Shinobi (Switch)

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Hey, that’s NOT a ninja weapon!

Switch Shinobi boxAnother flawless and essential port by M2 with a few excellent modern options, the 1987 arcade classic Shinobi ($7.99) sneaks onto the Switch, and it’s just as hard as ever. There’s an easier AGES mode that changes lead Joe Musashi’s garb to white and lets you take more that a single hit (as in the Genesis and Mega Drive follow-up Revenge of Shinobi) and you can choose to use the new rewind function if you like to make things a bit easier. I’ll admit that I didn’t touch it for a few days until it was tested for review purposes and yep, it helped a lot in a few areas. But it’s not necessary to clear the game if you’re averse to it and want to do it the old-fashioned way. Well, minus the feeding the machine part.

 

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Dawn of Fear: Some Residents Are Quite Evil Here

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I like the PlayStation Talents program, as it’s been bringing a few games to players from quite a few indie developers in Spain that might otherwise be ignored in a market crowded with new releases every week. Survival Horror fans have a new game to look at with Dawn of Fear, from indie team Brok3nsite. Take a look at this trailer and get the warn and fuzzy zombies coming after you feeling once more:

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Panzer Paladin: Tribute Games Has Been Busy, It Seems

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Whip it good, Squire!

Montreal-base indie developer Tribute Games has been a fan favorite for a few years (go sign up here and follow them, I say), with games such as Flinthook, Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition, Ninja Senki DX, and Curses ‘N Chaos being games I’ve enjoyed in the past along with many others. I haven’t yet played Wizorb yet because it hasn’t come to consoles, my Steam library is so huge I’d probably forget that I bought it by the time I got to the backlog there, and I have no mobile device to play it on (gasp!).

Anyway, their in-progress game, Panzer Paladin is set for a release this coming Spring and is looking quite fantastic so far, so yes, lets take a look at some early gameplay here:

Lovely, huh?

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The Bearable Heaviness of Being

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe other good news from yesterday was getting back from an appointment and discovering a package from Mega Cat Studios had arrived completely without warning (Thank you very much, James!). This is both excellent and somewhat timely, as it had a copy of the rather intriguing Devwill Too MD inside along with a nice note for me. This will get reviewed on the weekend, but when a game starts out with a quote from Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus, you kind of realize it’s sort of special.

Here’s a little look at the trailer:

 

 

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Yes, you should!

I got a proper Krazy Kat meets Super Mario Bros. vibe here, but I’m a bit nuts, so you can decide on your own. Oh, also please go sign up on the Mega Cat site for info on the many other cool and sometime very unusual retro games they’ve released or are working on. A while back I made a small pledge to the Phantom Gear Kickstarter, so I can’t wait for that to be completed, as it looks pretty solid.

By the way, if you have or want a Steam account, you can even get free beta demos on some titles there as well for that platform, which is a good thing as Mega Cat is cooking up some really nice titles. If for whatever reason, you’re working on a retro-style game and need a publisher, well, I think they do that as well.

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Ghosts ‘N DJ’s: Monday’s Been Made, Charities Get Paid

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This is priceless. No, seriously, it’s going to be FREE.

Ghosts'n DJs artSometimes, you wake up and see something that makes your day, as as it’s a Monday, that goes double because it kicks off the week on a high note. I woke up earlier this morning to go to a medical appointment, checked my email and saw this game info, then the trailer and yep, my day was made instantly.

Solo developer and creator Daniel Manzano (aka Dr. Kucho!) has cooked up such a thing with Ghosts ‘N DJ’s, which… well, just take a look at the game trailer while I go put on a pot of coffee:

Screenshots and a good and lengthy game description are below the jump. I know you’re curious, so you get the long version this time.

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Project AETHER: First Contact Demo Takes Me Back A Bit

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Designed as a fast-paced twin-stick shooter, Project AETHER puts you in the pilot’s seat of the prototype mecha Aether as you face off against a robotic alien force bent on the destruction of mankind. Aether features a customizable loadout of ranged and melee weapons as well as an EMP Burst system, allowing you to detonate weakened enemies in a devastating chain reaction.

Toronto-based Sleepy Spider Studios is nicely time-warped in the 2000’s, but I like that a lot. Their first game was Legions of Tyrandel, a PC deck-building turn-based strategy game made for two players (although single player challenge maps are available), and now we’re getting Project AETHER: First Contact, which is coming to Steam on February 24. There’s a free demo to try here, and it’s pretty good stuff that blends twin-stick arcade shooting action and some nice visuals in what’s shaping up to be an excellent game.

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Gallery: Hockey Manager 20|20

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Ice, ice, maybe?

I used to play a lot of sports games a long time ago on a number of systems I own or have owned. I don’t these days save for assorted racing games I like and some “extreme” sports games, but Netamin’s Hockey Manager 20|20 does look somewhat intriguing with all those charts and graphs to peruse and use. The trailer isn’t at all that exciting unless anything about the sport automatically gets you cheering, so here you go – a little test, followed below the jump by a slew of screenshots and some game info.

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DOOM Eternal: More Kicks To The Devil Butt, Guaranteed

 

I did love the DOOM revival from 2016 because the game managed to be as fun to play as it was funny when necessary. It also defined its lead as a total demon-slaying nightmare that, yes, even some of the demons feared and you weren’t just killing them for fun and games. All that slaughter was your job because some rather stupid smart people had messed around and screwed things up by letting those demons into onto Mars (science!) and you were the person chosen to clean up the mess with how shall we say, EXTREME prejudice.

DOOM Eternal looks as if it’s also packing the same zippy no-cover fast-kill action as the last game (which was a welcome return to form from the first two DOOM games from the ’90’s), but as with the revival, I prefer to go in as cold as possible and be thrilled over knowing whee every enemy and secret is out of the gate. Kids, this is how gaming never gets old for me. The less I know, the better the game gets. On that note, I’ll probably ignore watching important spoilers from this moment on, as that new trailer sure teases a whole lot, doesn’t it?

 

 

-GW

Zombie Army 4: Not For The Squeamish, This Squish, Squish

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The Dirty 1/3 of a Dozen…

Oh, this trailer is a total riot, though, zombie shark and all. If it were a movie, I’d go see it just because it’s about as perfect it gets in terms of the exploitation elements alone. The trailer reminded me of some of those old grindhouse movies whose trailers seemed endless and/or packed in so much mind-blowing content that you HAD to see the final results and nope, you weren’t disappointed at all.

Er, hold on to something – here we go:

Zombie sharks seem to be the least crazy thing here, right?

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We’re gonna need another boat to put all of this stuff in…

February 4, 2020 on PC as an Epic Store exclusive, or on consoles for PS4 and Xbox One. Go here if you’re going to pre-order.

-GW

 

Review: Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls (PC)

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“Adventure… the new fragrance by Cloven Hind…”

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Prepare to get schooled skulled if you’re not ready.

For a while, from the 1980’s into the 1990’s, it seemed that the original Wizardry series was destined to last forever. But by 2001 that wasn’t the case as developer of what would be the final game in the series, Sir-Tech Canada went down for the count after the mostly excellent but flawed foray into the fully polygon arena with Wizardry 8. The company still supported the game until they finally vanished in 2003, and was never able to do a proper followup before they left the scene. There have been quite a large amount of games since then that have taken many elements the series pioneered, polished up the visuals and are basically Wizardry games with different titles as the end of the day.

Other titles in the series had danced on the edge with polygonal environments but 8’s was the first with both characters and maps presented this way. In the US, the series was slowly being forgotten despite some excellent ports to the Nintendo and Super Nintendo consoles, but in Japan, the series flourished on PC and consoles as a number of different developers tried their hands at making dozens of Wizardry games from console ports and original games to mobile and online-only titles with mostly good results. Which brings us to the game in question, which is quite good especially if you’re a fan of the classics. It’s got a few issues the keep it squarely in the past, but we’ll get to them below.

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