Review: MilitAnt (PC)

Release Trailer MilitAnt thumbnail

Platform: PC/(PS4/Vita)

Developer/Publisher: Xibalba Studios

# of Players: 1 MSRP: $9.99

Official Site

Verdict: BUY IT (but expect this bug to bite hard!)

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Do you consider yourself a game master? Do classic series such as Battletoads, Contra, Mega Man, and other vintage to modern platform toughies barely make you flinch when you speed-run them blindfolded playing with that controller in between your teeth? Well, you should be pleased to know MilitAnt has your name stamped on it in big neon letters. Xibablba Studios’ new PC and PS4 game (also headed to the Vita soon) is one of the hardest games of the year and it deserves a tip of the cap and old college try by the best of the best who should appreciate the gorgeously detailed visuals and non-stop challenge right from the start. Even on the lowest difficulty setting, the whopping amount of stuff trying to kill your little ant warrior is no joke. This commendable decision gives the game longevity and plenty of replay value, but may scare of casual gamers expecting a hand-holding mobile-like experience.

 


 

You play a nameless ant warrior who’s part of a massive ant army gone to war against termites, wasps and other bugs big to small, but you’ll more than likely than not care more about surviving the levels than following the story. The game is billed as being “2.5D”, but what that really means is this is a side-scroller with a second plane enemies will attack you from every chance they get. Controls, movement and animation are solid, with an Xbox 360 or other game controller your best bet for survival. Keyboard and mouse do function extremely well, if you choose to go that route, but this is a game meant to be more fully enjoyed with a two stick analog. You can carry up to four different weapons of any type (once you unlock them) into battle, so choose wisely. The dozen weapons are excellent for the most part, but you’ll need to be careful as they all have a reload/cool down period. Knowing when to swap guns or use melee attacks is key, as enemies appear in large enough numbers to overwhelm even the most prepared player.

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Earth Defense Force 4.1 Stomping to Steam July 18

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Well, this wasn’t a total surprise, but it still make me do a little happy dance when it was confirmed. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair July 18, on Steam. $49.99, but with a limited time 30% discount. Worth every penny even at full price. No mod support has been confirmed, but the game doesn’t need people messing with it creating content thanks to a few hundred hours worth of gameplay just in the challenge of clearing every difficulty level with every character AND getting all 800 randomly dropped weapons. PR on this has been quiet as a mouse, but I hope this gets kicked up a notch and made bigger news soon.

Assault Suit Leynos Now on PSN: Summer Just Got Much Hotter For PS4 Owners

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Your question and answer for the day if you’re a PS4 owner watching that trailer above and wondering “Should I get this?” Well… YES. A paltry $19.99 digitally via PSN. If you can hold out until September, want a gift for that game-collecting friend or have a gaming PC and only play on that setup, A physical disc version of the PS4 game is coming with a PC download via Steam shortly thereafter. I’ll let you go hit PSN now so you can go buy this and have it all ready to download so you can get to blasting some aliens later once you’re home from work or wherever. Over and out!

Dragon Bros Hands-On: One Small Bite Helps Make This Little Indie a Big Deal


 

So, yeah. I’m buried under games even more so than usual, but when something cool and FUN like UK-based Space Lizard StudiosDragon Bros pokes me in the eye (ow!) with a free demo I read can be completed in five minutes or less, I have to stop, drop and roll away from my backlog and get some quick hands-on time. That five minutes and twenty-seven seconds it took me to finish the demo build was pretty invigorating to say the least. Yes, they got my vote on Steam Greenlight and I want to see this one get done up right.

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Dragon Bros is a super-charged cute run & gun very much like you’d be playing on the Sega Genesis or SNES (minus that console’s better color palette). Your little dragon with the big gun is out to rescue his mom (in solo play, the game will be solo or co-op), and those robotic dopes shooting back aren’t going to stop him. well, unless you’re lousy at these types of games. As with many old-school games, this one’s a side-scroller where you can’t back up if you’ve missed a weapon pickup or dropped coins. Still, the action is fast paced and a slider on the options screen lets you choose difficulty on the fly. There seemed to be a few secrets just out of reach easily lost when the current screen slid over to a new one. But replaying the map and paying attention to spots where one can jump up to or down from helps out a great deal.

As the game is still early, there are some obvious tweaks that need to be done. The options menu needs some character sprite love for sure. The developers note on the Greenlight page that the game is still a WIP and has a ways to go before completion, but so far, they’re well on the way to making an instant classic in my bookIm.

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Go click away above, try that demo out and see for yourself what’s what. I think this team and these Bros. deserve a shot as well a space in your game library. That, and snapping up the Bros when they hit Steam means THIS can probably get made sooner. Wow.

UPDATE: Okay, I played a bit more and Got my time down a bit, but I need to slide away from this and get back to work. That backlog is staring at me and tapping its fingers waiting. Back in a bit.

Arrow Video August Releases: Double Dog Dare Days Ahead

Just two titles for August, but that’s fine by me. My backlog is big enough that I’m comfortable being uncomfortable with next month’s Arrows arriving in time for me to finish up half the ton of stuff on my plate. Let’s get to it, then -it’s hot as hell outside and I do need to go out and get some solar rays cooking up post ideas.

Amusingly enough, a little home cooking is the subject of our first film…

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Microwave Massacre [Blu-Ray + DVD] (August 16th, MSRP $34.95):

THEY CAME FOR DINNER…TO FIND THEY WERE IT!!

Microwave Massacre stars legendary stand-up comedian and actor Jackie Vernon as Donald, a disgruntled construction worker whose wife’s predilection for haute cuisine drives him to cannibalism.

Donald unwittingly stumbles upon a solution to his two major problems in his life – his nagging wife and his lack of decent meals – when, one night, he bludgeons his better half to death with a pepper grinder in a drunken rage. Thinking on his feet, Donald dismembers the body and sets about microwaving the remains, which turn out to be rather delicious. Trouble is, now he has a taste for human flesh that needs satisfying…

Eschewing all notions of good taste, Wayne Berwick’s Microwave Massacre is a deliciously depraved exercise in political incorrectness that has gone on to gain a cult following thanks to a characteristically deadpan performance from Vernon, who delivers such choice lines as “I’m so hungry I could eat a whore.” Vegetarians need not apply!

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
– Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Brand new audio commentary with writer-producer Craig Muckler, moderated by Mike Tristano
– Brand new making-of featurette including interviews with Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein
– Trailer
– Original treatment and 8-page synopsis (BD/DVD-ROM content)
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter

Oops. I should have noted this one was a bit of an icky Blue Plate Special. Well, it’s too late – eat up! OR ELSE…

Oh, by the way… look out below!

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Arrow Video UK Sale: Build A Wall of Cult Flicks To Keep You Indoors For The Long Haul

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Well, this is pretty cool if you’re a collector with an all-region Blu-Ray/DVD player who wants to beef up your library with some sharp Arrows. CLICK HERE and make with the wallet noises. If you’re outside the UK, shipping will be a kick in the head, but the discounts are worth it for the films in the catalog US fans of Arrow haven’t yet seen. Hell, I’d buy everything on that list if I had the scratch handy. Act fast, though – the sale ends July 11.

Greedy Guns: Give Them All Your Money, This One’s A BLAST

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Hi! Believe it or not, this is how the game’s demo BEGINS. Wow.

greed is goodFrom the crazy must-play demo alone, TioAtum’s in development arcade run ‘n gun Greedy Guns is probably going to be poking into a few “indie game of the week/month/year/whatever” territory as soon as it’s released. Between the super-fast gameplay, colorful cartoon visuals and excellent 360 degree blasting, this one’s got BUY ME stamped all over it.

Don’t believe me? Go try the demo out on the game’s Kickstarter page and you’ll be like my pal Vincent (Zombie Proof) Spencer, who noted “yup, this game is the STUFF” after I sent him a PM on Steam while he was in the middle of playing DOOM (or was it Fallout IV?).


 

Anyway, Greedy Guns is a fantastic homage to games like Metal Slug, Contra, Metroid, the Castlevania series and the *always* awesome Gunstar Heroes with sharper modern visuals, more exploration elements and what feels like an even higher adrenaline rush as you play. Solo and co-op play is supported and you’ll want to grab a friend (or get outside to make some new ones) because this game is HARD. But it’s also fair in its challenge, once you learn to not get squashed, zapped or otherwise mangled by the assorted baddies trying to do you in.

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Hey! Don’t laugh at these guys. They may look sort of cute, but they intend to mean you plenty of harm.

 

Even if you’re NOT a fan of crowd-funding games, the demo is a must-play because it’s far enough along and fun enough to get you to part with a few bucks just so you can dive in and play the entire thing to the end. The three-man team is really swinging for the fences and the game is one of the best crowdfunded indies I’ve played this year. Take THAT, other games that make promises, deliver no demos and disappoint some… like an anime fan on (oh, you know the rest).

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Kate and Bob are waiting. Don’t make them come get you.

Anyway, go support Greedy Guns. That pitch above shows the team knows what it’s doing and how killer their product will be when it’s all done later this year.

Fossil Echo: How Odd.. Is There an ICO in Here?

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Gamers who love stuff like Team ICO’s games, the Oddworld series and gorgeous artwork would do well to keep an eyeball peeled for Fossil Echo, set for a July 1 release on Steam. You can also pre-order the Fossil Echo – Special Edition directly from the developer for 14.99 (the price jumps up to $19.99 in about 20 days) which includes a Steam copy of Fossil Echo for PC, a Fossil Echo Original Soundtrack by John Robert Matz (25 tracks + 1 bonus), a 20+-page PDF: The Making Of Fossil Echo, other extras (such as wallpapers, profile pictures) and yes, the dev team’s infinite gratitude.

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As for what the game is all about, well read on… Continue reading

On Rusty Trails: Elvis Lives, But Needs a New Place To Stay

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Elvis (Custom)“Innovation” (cue angelic music or whatever you hear when that word is mentioned) is one of the most overused buzzwords in gaming “journalism” (another overused word clung to by some) and it’s clear that too many writers about games tend to try too hard to push the idea that if an new game isn’t “Innovative” it’s somehow lacking the necessary “fun” required that seemingly ONLY comes via “Innovation” (cue angelic music or whatever you hear when that word is mentioned).

Well, Black Pants Studio has some happy hogs that need to be washing by some of these soulful-eyed scribes who seem to not be having FUN because they’re waving their “innovation” meters all over every game they play looking hard instead of cutting loose and having… well, you know what.

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On Rusty Trails is their new PC/Mac/Linux game set to hit Steam June 13 and early code in hand, a spin was taken that finds the game is truly more (and actual) FUN without trying so hard to “innovate” that it spins itself into a pretzel that pleases none but those who want it to bend how they please. But enough jabbing at peers here. Let’s get to the describing as best we can how FUN Elvis is to play as… Continue reading

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?