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:

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Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure 3D: Join Thursday’s Twitter Chat!

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Hey! Got some burning questions about the Nintendo 3DS version of Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure, coming soon to the handheld? Well, join the Gurumin 3D Live Twitter Chat this Thursday (3-5pm Pacific Time, or 6-8pm here in NYC) on the game’s Twitter page! If you’re asking “What’s Gurumin?”, well, thank me now for removing that stone off your head and getting you into the daylight!

Here you go:


 

While you’re cooking up those tasty questions for tomorrow, check out this blog post on the Gurumin Rocks site to find out a few cool nuggets on how the game’s battle system evolved during development. I’ll be sitting on this session at some point, but don’t mind me – I’ll just be taking a break from a really insane backlog, chilling with a cold drink watching the questions roll in.


 

And if you need to get Gurumin and don’t own a 3DS, you’re still in luck! If you own a PSP, Vita, or PS TV, or have an active Steam account, well… you know what to do, right?

Review: MilitAnt (PC)

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

BEWM:

 

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!

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.

The Last Guardian: Finally Dated, The Wait Gets Less When-ish


 

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the-last-guardian-imageblock-02-us-15jun15Okay. I’m back. Sort of. Got a LOT of stuff going on up this way I’ll yak about in a separate post, but let’s all just watch this gorgeous trailer for the long delayed and finally has a release date soon to be instant classic The Last Guardian. Fumeto Ueda and his team’s game will indeed be worth the wait and in my mind, it’s one of the reasons I play videogames. For me, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus were and still are two of the best game experiences from the past 20 years, and seeing this final game appear means I can stop worrying about whether or not it will be good. I trust the creator and his vision and that’s all one needs in this case.

The Last Guardian hits retail and digital October 25, 2016. Yes, that collector’s edition below looks mighty nice, doesn’t it? Yep.

TLG CE

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.

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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.

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Review: MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies

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Zombies_ESRB_coversheetPlatform: PlayStation Vita/PSTV

Developer(s): Idea Factory/Compile Heart/Tamsoft

Publisher: Idea Factory International*

# of Players: 1 – 4

MSRP: $39.99 (retail/PSN)

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Sneaky, Tamsoft, SNEAKY. Teaming up with Idea Factory and Compile Heart and getting your Onechanbara in my Neptunia while making it a ridiculously fun and ridiculously cute hack & slash with a ridiculous amount of replay value. Ridiculous! MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies is an absolutely silly blast of a game that’s easy to get into and deserves a sequel of some sort down the road. Yeah, I missed out on Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed (it’s on my list of stuff to get to, really!), so I’m going into this one as it’s an all-new and different experience.

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While it’s packed with characters and content, the “Hey, let’s put on a show!” hijinks that revolve around the female students of Gamicademi trying to save their school from closing by making a low-budget zombie movie also makes for a pretty amusing plot. The game is part visual novel, part action/RPG and definitely going to take up a small to moderate chunk of your time thanks to all the variables that come into play. That tongue-in-cheek humor it bashes you over the head with gets you into the groove right from the start, but it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Your Vita will either pop out of its hiding place and kiss you for making this purchase or slap you in the face with a smirk if you get too serious while playing this game. Or both. Continue reading

Lumo: Brilliant Iso Platformer’s One of The Year’s Best Surprises

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Lumo is out now on Steam, gog.com, the Humble Store (PC/Mac/Linux), and PlayStation 4 now and that $20 price tag may actually be too little for such a gorgeous and brain-twisting platform/adventure game hybrid. Created by Triple Eh! (Gareth Noyce) and published by Rising Star Games, there’s so much packed into this isometric wonder that most gamers under a certain age with no sense of game history outside their own short memories will spin themselves silly trying to keep up with the seemingly endless references to games they’ve never seen or played. North American gamers with some experience will note the Solstice and Equinox homages along with nods to Donkey Kong, Marble Madness, and a few other classic arcade and console games while they jump through around and in many cases, OVER levels to locate some very-well hidden secrets.

This isn’t a proper “review” (yet) as I’m basing my wordy noise here on the preview code I received and finally got around to this past weekend. Think of this as a fine and dandy heads-up if you’re on the hunt for a lengthy, challenging blend of old and new schools that’s cute enough to be a kid’s game, but tricky enough to get the most seasoned player checking out every nook and cranny for hidden stuff. As you play, you’ll discover Noyce is indeed a very, very talented guy with an elephantine memory and deep knowledge about his favorite games and a willingness to share that with anyone who picks up a controller. 400 rooms in a beautifully rendered Easter Egg farm where fast movement is necessary, yet paying attention to visual cues makes for truly rewarding play sessions. The sense of discovery in Lumo is fairly remarkable because you’ll be doing things both inside and outside the box. See some crates stacked by a wall or what looks like a curious means of reaching the top of a wall? With a bit of effort poking around in nearby room or a bit of backtracking to other curious spots, you’ll be up and over those walls and into new territory. Continue reading

MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies: Time To Kill (Some Kind of Cute Undead)

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Zombies_ESRB_coversheetWell, in the North American territories, that is. You gamers overseas in Europe and the UK need to hold on for a few days longer, but you’ll get what’s coming to you soon. Or more precisely, those nasty zombies will get what’s coming to them from YOU (POW!). MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies hits the Vita running, all cute gals slapping the slime out of zombies in colorful, fast-paced action. I hear a voice saying “Get it, or get HIT!”, but that’s my brain calling forth demons or an old slogan I saw somewhere something. Still, this one looks as if it’ll be portable thrills galore guaranteed to make you miss your bus or train stop.

Hey, don’t blame ME for that, now. I play most of my games at home so the only stop I miss is when I forget to stop playing. Yes, I probably have a problem. But that’s not your problem, right?

The trailer, in case you need a friendly reminder to nab this one soon (as in NOW!):