DOGOS: OPQAM’s Root Grows Into A Mighty Shmup Oak

DOGOS OPQAM
 

dogos_02 Developer OPQAM’s first game, Project Root was and is a pretty solid modern take on the top down arcade shooter that slowed the pace down and opened up its maps to allow for near total freedom to fly and blast enemies through some fairly lengthy missions. That game really felt like a modern take on Thunder Force II‘s top-down sections, but some critics and gamers didn’t “get” the game’s seemingly languid pacing at all, opting to call it “boring” when this wasn’t the case. To each his or her own, I suppose… but this guy thinks a lot of people got it wrong.


 

Still, it seems OPQAM took the brickbats to heart in creating DOGOS, its upcoming PC, PS4, and Xbox One follow up, set to land soon as another digital-only release. It’s been Greenlit on Steam and looks as if it’ll be a big hit for the Recent hands-on time with a three-mission build shows the developer has hit on a great combination of classic shmup gameplay set in an more structured open map that almost gives the game the feeling of a dungeon crawler. There’s a story here to follow about Desmond Phoenix, a lone pilot tasked with some heavy duty mission work on an enemy-packed planet, but I’ll save that for the full review later. What you need to know is the game controls like a dream so far and the go-anywhere aspect coupled with the ship maneuverability really stand out. Yes, there are bosses and mini-boss ships to face off against with players needing to shoot aerial and ground targets as they fly around each large level. While the camera is generally top-down, OPQAM notes a few cool features in the final product:

Continue reading

The Technomancer Launch Trailer: Get Your Ass To Mars on PC & Consoles

With the risky and expensive on a few fronts potential of sending humans to Mars (on a one-way trip, yet!) being a big deal over the past couple of years, it’s clear that entertainment focused on the Angry Red Planet is going to be hot for a while. Fresh from veteran developer Spiders and publisher Focus Home Interactive comes The Technomancer, an action/RPG for PC, PS4, and Xbox One out tomorrow. A prequel to MARS: War Logs, the game looks to add to the lore Spiders set forth in that game while introducing new characters, environments and gameplay to players who buy their ticket to the stars.

I’ve been bonked on the noggin with a review code, so I’m going to be off-planet for a bit. Back with some impressions shortly. Oh, by the way: MARS: War Logs is on SALE on Steam for 75% off. Check it out if your curiosity is piqued. It’s got a few rough edges, but makes for a pretty decent diversion that makes The Technomancer all the more intriguing as a prequel. If the new game is even better, will Spiders go forward or back in the timeline they’ve created? That’s a question for sales figures to partially answer, I’d bet.

Valley Update: Deeper We Go (And Things Look Even Better)

Lev7_Temple_BiggerSun_002Blue Isle Studios‘ upcoming first-person action/adventure/exploration platformer Valley is coming along very nicely indeed as you can see in these new screens. As noted earlier, the developer is not slapping together a new Slender game just to cash in on the still percolating jump-scare horror craze.  The richer Unity-powered visuals and more open game world beg to be explored and the intriguing L.E.A.F. Suit’s yin/yang powers of death dealing and life giving should make this quite the interesting game experience.

AncientRuinsSS2_001I have the feeling that this is going to be one of those summer games that gets people to stop and hop in for a slice of thrills they don’t expect coming, but as usual, we shall see. Valley‘s Steam page is beckoning you to wishlist the game, so you go on ahead and do that. Well, after you finish ogling those screens below.

ValleyScreenShotDeer_GiveLife1920x1080_02 


 

And don’t forget, PS4 and Xbox One versions are on the way. Blue Isle isn’t letting those console owners have a slow summer either. Back with more on this one soon.

Lev1_RunJump_001 Lev2_RunJump_001 Lev7_SomaSwarmCombat

This DOOM Trailer is a Feat of Clay

DOOMSo, yeah. DOOM comes out on May 13th and this 4th game can also be seen as a modern reboot of the seminal FPS franchise as well as a love letter by id Software to itself. While the official game trailer itself is quite NSFW, the very talented Claycat (or Lee Hardcastle) has whipped up a hilariously cartoon gory (and not for the kiddies) claymation version of one of the early trailers that’s a must-watch.

Er… Hey, that’s NOT blood, kids… it’s um, jelly! Take a look:

Yep, awesome, innit? Here’s the yuckier (content-wise) official trailer:

DOOM hits retail and digital on May 13, 2016. As the song says, “go to hell and see how you like it!”

Valley: Blue Isle Studios’ Newest Is Intentionally More Jumpy Than Scary

Valley_header 

Blue Isle Studios made a name for itself with Slender: The Arrival on PC and then consoles, but the studio wisely decided not to become the all jump scare all the time game factory fans of that horror hit wanted it to be. Its upcoming title, Valley is a very different game than Slender was, although some are making direct (and probably unfair) comparisons to Gone North Games excellent first-person puzzle platformer A Story About My Uncle.

The trailer below certainly has a few things going for it that game didn’t as well as what looks like a tonal shift from freeform 3D platforming to a bit of slightly frightening business:


 

As for what’s what with the story and what to expect from the gameplay, here you go: 

Valley is a First-Person adventure unlike any other. Hidden deep within a remote region of the Rocky Mountains, you find yourself bewildered within a secluded valley. With the power of a recently discovered L.E.A.F. suit (Leap Effortlessly though Air Functionality), run and jump your way through beautiful forests, dangerous ruins and vast environments; all the while utilizing the power to control life and death to uncover the startling secrets of the mysterious valley.

 

Features

  • Move faster, jump higher: make your way through the world of Valley™ using the incredible speed and agility of the L.E.A.F. suit.

  • Manipulate life and death: the L.E.A.F. suit grants its pilots the phenomenal power to both give and take life from any living thing.

  • Experience a unique twist on death: the more you die, the more the valley will die around you.

  • Enhance yourself: upgrade your suit with new abilities and strengths.

  • Explore: the world of Valley™ is filled with forests, wildlife, ancient ruins, charming creatures, dangerous enemies and other mysteries.

 

Six screens below to ogle:

Screenshot1 Screenshot2 Screenshot3 Screenshot4 Screenshot5 Screenshot6

 

The varied environments combined with the intriguing gameplay makes Valley quite intriguing and well worth a play to see how the mechanics work. If it all works well, Blue Isle will have what’s looking to be an even bigger hit than Slender was, provided that game’s legion of fans is willing to try something different. Valley lands on PC via Steam (so far), PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this summer.

Get on the Good Wood, Get Your Tech Some TOAST

Bamboo PS4_4253_std_1442606996

TOAST logo greyIt’s hard to believe a mere ten people work at TOAST hand-making beautiful custom environmentally friendly wood cases and covers for everything from phones to tablets, laptops, game consoles and more, all reasonably priced.

The Portland, Oregon-based company uses sustainable wood and in addition to standard cases also does custom work where buyers submit their own artwork for one of the specific cases they manufacture and within 3-5 days (for single item orders) they turn out a lovely tech keeper/keepsake.

Walnut XBO 4616_std_1444431629
 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony and Microsoft haven’t bugged these folks to turn out a small amount of custom console cases for special occasions, but maybe they have and I’ve yet to hear about it. If not, someone needs to get on the ball over at Corporate and give he TOAST guys and gals a ring-up. It’s too bad the Wii U isn’t represented here, as Nintendo’s soon to be replaced console could use a bit of classy coverage journalists aren’t giving it (ha and ha). Still, if you’re a PS4 or Xbox One owner looking for a way to show off your consoles and want a finish that’s not only going to be unique even if you order the same one for multiple consoles (that’s the power of wood for you, folks!), it’ll make your gaming pals wanting their own freshly made TOAST, well there you go.

PC Review: ADR1FT

ADR1FT Screenshot 01Platform: PC

Developer: three one zero LLC

Publisher: 505 Games

# of Players: 1

MSRP: $19.99

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Score: A (90%)
If you’re one who normally plays games on a smaller screen laptop or monitor, ADR1FT is most likely going to make you want a bigger screen as soon as possible. Of course, I’m saying this as someone whose first introduction to the experience was back when it was running on another engine and 505 Games premiered an early console and PC VR demo in a movie theater where on the big screen the scope was quite impressive indeed. That scale is far more thrilling with the complete overhaul/upgrade to the Unreal 4 Engine, but it works best on the biggest display you can get even if it means popping over to a friend’s place to show off the finished product.

ADR1FT_screenshot-2

Forget the “walking simulator” labels the game is getting from the limited vocabulary crowd, throw out your science degrees or overly critical eye for complete accuracy (it’s a videogame, NOT a NASA sim), strap yourself in and prepare for a quietly wild ride. ADR1FT is less of a straight adventure game and more of a deliberately paced and tension filled trip into space where survival is key if only to discover how it all ends. The game works as both a visual treat for the eyes as well as a great example of the promise of virtual reality as a viable entertainment option (provided you currently own or plan to buy one of the VR headsets being hard marketed this year).

Continue reading

Soda Drinker Pro Burps Onto PC, Xbox One Soon

If your day wasn’t or isn’t weird enough…it’s surely about to get its daily dose of the truly bizarre. Note: this video may cause you to want to go have a drink… of SODA!


 

Admittedly, I initially had no idea what to make of the infamous Soda Drinker Pro other than to say I played it about a year and a half or so ago for about two hours and I had no idea how to write about it. Was it a commentary on the indie game scene and how any idea that could get made got made? Was it a genuine attempt by a novice developer to get his offbeat game some free media coverage in this age of everyone online being some sort of critic just because they have opinions and easy computer access? Was it a bad dream after too much cold pizza and stale coffee?

After playing that two hours, I’ll admit that my brain was out of things to say back then. So nothing was said and the game seemingly vanished for a while. Actually, it didn’t “vanish” at all. It got tweaked with Oculus Rift support(!) and you can buy a DRM-free download code for the PC version for $4.99 from the official site if you’re brave and curious with five bucks in your hand you want to pass through your monitor to developer Will Brierly.

As you’ve more than likely guessed from that title… Soda Drinker Pro is BACK. As in it’s coming to XBox One and PC on April 14th with the rather intriguing and somehow far weirder platform game Vivian Clark as a bonus. As you can see, that game looks as if Salvador Dali moved into Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and had lots of babies with a spaceship full of willing extraterrestrials:


 

Or in proper English, I think I may need to play this at some point. You may need to as well if your eyes and brain survived up to this point. Just keep an eye peeled wherever games appear in your area in about a week or so.

The Only April Fool’s Day Joke That Made Me Laugh Today


 

Thank you, CD Projekt RED for *magically* getting water to shoot out my nose earlier today. It’s a definite April Fool’s gag, but I’d more than gladly pay that five bucks for talking horse DLC just for the chance to have an option to have Roach talk in a Mr. Ed voice. Okay, back to work here – I’m up to my wet nostril hairs in stuff to do.

ADR1FT Floats Onto Steam – VR, Consoles to Follow

ADR1FT_screenshot-2

“Here am I floating round my tin can. Far above the Moon. Planet Earth is blue. And there’s nothing I can do…”

 

ADR1FT_screenshot-4 

While PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and VR-enabled PC and PS4 versions of threeonezero’s ADR1FT are still in the works, PC gamers with Steam accounts and rigs with decent specs can now purchase the game for $19.99. Even without the added virtual reality functionality 505 Games has a hit here that should go along way in convincing even the most ardent skeptic about the viability of VR for certain gaming and entertainment purposes.

Of course, getting past the new breed of hard-core internet skeptics who dub these sort of first-person experiences “walking simulators” (Bleh. There’s no “walking” here, as you play an astronaut stranded on a partially destroyed space station who needs to figure out what happened) will be the game’s biggest hurdle with the second issue for some being the estimated 4-6 hours it takes to complete the game. Length really isn’t something to whine about here as the game has enough elements to make it replayable as well as a conversation piece to show off for the outstanding Unreal 4-powered visuals.

ADR1FT Screenshot 01 

And if you really want to show off something even more physical, you can boogie on over to iam8bit.com to check out their cool online shop and snag one of those cool ADR1FT Collector’s Edition boxes for $54.95. That price nets you two digital codes for the game (PC and Oculus Rift VR versions), one of two different 756 piece jigsaw puzzles, a nice embroidered HAN-1V patch and a pack of “tasty” astronaut ice cream, all in a big box for safekeeping (but probably not guaranteed to survive being sent into actual space).