Review: Golem Gates (PS4)

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Riffing with Glyph-ing: choose your cards wisely, or else suffer the fate of the unprepared.

GG_PS4Laser Guided games mostly excellent Golem Gates ($24.99) made me wish attract screens were still a thing in modern games. While it’s a solid and enjoyable take on the Real-Time Strategy (RTS), card collection and MOBA genres and translates well enough from its keyboard and mouse-centric PC origins to a game controller, it’s also the sort of game where a rolling demonstration mode would just be a cool thing to have happen when the game is booted up if only to get a few more people on the fence about it wanting to give it a shot.  If you’re super-old school and need a sort of reference point, imagine Herzog Zwei, StarCraft and DoTA having a baby and getting it onto PC and now, consoles and you’ve got an idea od what to expect.

Granted, if you’re buying this game for yourself, you know exactly what you’re getting into and likely don’t need any persuasion. Conversely, if a friend drops over and is itching to know what the big deal is, you’ll just have to have them plop down on the couch or wherever and play as they watch, or pick up a controller and join the fun if they’re more than a little curious. Thankfully, other than the rather dry main screen that greets you along with Dalvan King’s stellar music, the gameplay hooks you right in if you’re a fan of this sort of play. Kicking off with a tutorial that explains the basics, your Harbinger uses cards (called Glyphs here) to summon up a small variety of troops and useful goodies to assist in dealing with assorted enemies as you attempt to take out the enemy Harbinger. In Campaign mode, that list of Glyphs gets larger as do the enemy types that need crushing, and yes, decks can be created and customized to your liking as new Glyphs appear.

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Jet Lancer: Get Airborne With this Cool-Looking Retro/Modern Shmup

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Jet Lancer is a frenetic aerial dog-fighting game where you hunt enemy pilots, carve up giant robots, and defy death at supersonic speeds as a daring mercenary in the far future.

 

Armor Games Studios upcoming Jet Lancer looks as if it’s going to be a hell of a blast to play on a few fronts. While currently only set for a PC release on Steam, it’s exactly the sort of game that seems as if would do quite well on consoles  what with its great pixel art and speedy arcade gameplay. While there’s no news on a port yet, my fingers are crossed that developer Vladimir Fedyushkin is at the very least, well within range of a few console development kits, or at least knows someone who can tackle the porting job.

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As usual, we shall see, but go wishlist this game on Steam if you have a Steam account, I say.

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I’m looking forward to taking this one out for a test flight, so expect some sort of aerial report in the not too distant future.

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-GW

Gallery: Golem Gates

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Well, this looks quite nice and grim, doesn’t it? This is Golem Gates, coming (very) soon for PC and consoles from developer Laser Guided Games and ever-busy publisher Digerati.  The latest trailer is below, the game’s press release and some gorgeous multi-platform screens are below the jump. Enjoy!

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Lost Ember: Making Mooneyes at This Great-Looking Game

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I’d been quietly following Mooneye Studios upcoming Lost Ember for a few years with the hope that the dev team would be taking their time to make an already gorgeous  game even more so. So this new trailer and actual launch date are making me really happy:

Lovely, isn’t it? Well, that July 19 release date for PC, PS4 and Xbox One is indeed a good thing, and with a Switch version also in the works, it’s safe to say about the only folks who might be a tad perturbed will be Mac and Linux die-hards who have to be a bit less grumpy unless their wants are taken care of. Anything is possible, so who knows what will happen in the future, I say. Go stick this one on your watch and wish lists, folks.

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A wolf whistle to the art team for such spectacular environments might not be a bad thing here.

– GW

Random Film of the Week: ALIEN³

(Thanks, THX1968!)

 

Alien 3_bI think it was sometime in mid-to late 1991 when I first saw the teaser trailer to ALIEN³ and had my eyeballs pop right out of my head followed by my jaw hitting the floor way too hard in the theater I saw it in. Ladies and gentlemen, do you know how hard it is to clean sticky goo off your eyeballs after they’ve rolled underneath a movie theater seat? Trust me, it ain’t easy. That and yuck-o, stale popcorn and half an old hot dog have the tendency to rather easily get into a fallen jaw if you let it sit down there for more than a minute flapping away in shock mode. Hey, I was busy trying to find my darn eyeballs, thank you much.

Needless to say, I was kind of shocked by this news that we’d get a third film in the franchise and it was coming in under a year. I wasn’t sure I liked the “On Earth, Everyone Can Hear You Scream” tagline at all and yes indeed, I thought bringing that cranky xenomorph to Earth was a bad (not a bad-ass) idea for a few key reasons. Although at that point, I was kind of screaming myself.

It seems 20th Century Fox may have agreed (or at least was pulling a fast one on us because they didn’t really have an idea about the film they were planning to make), as a few months later, this was the follow up trailer:

 

(Thanks, Media Graveyard!)

 

After gathering up my eyeballs and jaw again and handing a few people in the theater their eyeballs that rolled under and around my seat (which was quite interesting as I had to wait until the guy who picked up one of my eyeballs by mistake returned it or today I’d be the Jane Seymour version of myself or something like that), I took time to take in the trailer. Bald Ripley. Bald bad men, some bald men screaming and running, NO weapons at all and a reused music cue from the previous film had me both puzzled and really curious as to how the helllllll Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley character was going to get out of this new mess. That said, the art direction and sets looked solid and that finale bit with the Alien getting too close to Ripley had me intrigued as hell, as did my wondering who the heck was this David Fincher guy directing the film.

There were other trailers and eventually TV spots that arrived before and after the film was released, but I was sold before that point to the point that even if I didn’t like the final product, I had the feeling it would be really interesting and maybe even impressive.  Let’s just say I kind of got my money’s worth more on the visual side of things and a temporary gumball substitute for an eye after I picked up the first round object that I could touch after they popped out again.

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Bacon Man? Your Goose Is Cooked!

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Hey! Look at what popped up in the inbox that made me a bit curious (and kind of hungry). Yep, it’s Bacon Man: An Adventure, now on Steam and coming soon to Xbox One. What, no PS4 or Switch versions? C’mon Skymap – just go beat on Sony and Nintendo’s doors (or the noggins of people there (gently!) until they get you a few dev kits to mess around with, I say. This one’s weird and probably harder than you think, but that’s all good in my book.

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There’s a nice Earthworm Jim on assorted pharmaceuticals vibe here that’s probably going to please fans of those games (well, two out of three of them, although I kind of liked the craziness in the third installment, but I’m a bit nuts myself). I’ll actually need to play this one at some point (well, once I unchain myself from the backlog here), but I do think I’ll like it a lot despite what looks like a pretty punishing level of difficulty.

 

 

It’s a good thing couch co-op is onboard, as this seems to be just the sort of game that needs it (look down, please. No, not that far down, you. Here:)

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Anyway, I’m giving this a thumbs up based on the trailer alone because it made me laugh and humor is harder to pull off in games than some of you think. So yeah, go check this one out and see what you think.

-GW

Review: The Aquatic Adventure of The Last Human (PS4)

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TAAotLH.jpegWhile I suspect the “melancholic exploration adventure/arcade-style twitch shooter” isn’t going to be the next big thing anytime soon, if you want a game that fits that bill exactly, you’ll really want to snap up developer YCJY’s The Aquatic Adventure of The Last Human on PS4 (or Steam) at some point. It’s a great and intentionally gloomy game with solid controls and some pretty (and pretty colorful to pretty dark) underwater environments where exploration is somewhat languid until you accidentally or with intent pilot your little gray submarine into brutal boss fights that give you a run for your money.

The game is a somewhat thoughtful and dour (but overall excellent) look at the last survivor of the human race crashing back on earth after an extended space flight only to find the planet covered in water and ice with dead cities full of clues under the sea and assorted sea life. As you explore the non-linear map you’ll discover most of the creatures are harmless, but as noted, you’ll be in for a more than a few jolts when you get into those tough boss battles. It’s more or less a depressing version of Darius done in the versatile Gamemaker engine with some solid pixel art that recalls a nice hybrid of 8 and 16-bit art styles with some modern lighting effects.

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Lost Ember: Kickstart This Gorgeous Game, Please

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While I’m not the biggest fan of crowdfunding, I’ve participated in a few projects this year that jumped out and bit me because the promise of greatness was more than a pipe dream and a dedicated person or team was at the wheel guiding that vision to completion.

Lost Ember is one of those projects, I’ll more than likely help back because it’s absolutely gorgeous and it looks as if the developer, Hamburg, Germany-based Mooneye Studios is on the right track in creating an indie game for the ages. You can see (and hear) the hard work and passion for the project in every area and hopefully, the game will make its goal with time to spare (and yes, a well-optimized console port down the road, as this one’s too good to be limited to one platform)

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But enough babbling from me. Take a look at this trailer from the developer:

And this gallery of screens and art I put together a few weeks back on YouTube with fingers crossed that the Kickstarter would indeed launch and get going to a fast, steady start:

You’re grinning and reaching for your wallet, right? Well, my work here is done.

-GW

HUNTDOWN Gallery: Enter the Three the Hard Way Blade Running Mad Warriors to the Max

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Well, well. What do we have here? A game called HUNTDOWN by a studio with a temporary name ‘Huntdown HB (Handelsbolag)’ initially set for a mobile only release (where it would have no doubt blown gamers away who think ALL mobile games are awful tapper timesinks or cutesy kid games), now headed to mobile, PC and (hopefully) console? Let’s take a look and some screens, art and even a few GIFs now shall we?

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There’s a nice, striking image, no? Oh, just wait until you see what’s below the jump…

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2016: A Package Odyssey: Houston, We Have A “Wait, What?”

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Nope, that’s not me above. That both my reaction to yesterday’s news (no, not that stupid debate I didn’t watch) about my missing PS4 as well as the general attitude of the seller I bought it from. Both of these are making me wish I had a quart of booze to drink before smashing the bottle over my head if I hadn’t passed out by that point. Whee?

More in a bit. I need to get some squeaky, freaky wheels moving here because that darn deer sure isn’t moving fast enough and the road needs to be cleared without anything else going under the bus.

Suspense! I really hate it at a time like this. Don’t you? Good.