Pixels are the building blocks of video games. Without them we wouldn’t be able to see anything we’re doing on the screen. By themselves they’re not entirely impressive or exciting. Put a bunch of them together, however, and you can get anything from Mario to Master Chief.
Life of Pixel is a game brought to us by Super Icon Games. In theory it’s simply a platformer that is similar in style to games like VVVVVV or 1001 Spikes. It’s going to test your platforming skills, your reflexes and your patience at times. In reality it’s that, but it’s also a history lesson in video game form. You play through levels based on a number of different video game consoles ranging from the black and white display of the ZX81 all the up way through the 16 bit era with the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis.
Continue reading Life of Pixel Review
Over the years I have played a LOT of Dr. Mario. I remember sitting around in the bowling alley arcade as a youngster playing Dr. Mario (or Ghouls & Ghosts) while my parents were bowling. I played it on the NES. I played it on Wii. I played it on Game Boy. What I’ve learned in all those years is that I’m not very good at Dr. Mario, but I still absolutely love playing it. There comes a point where the pills just come too fast for me to be able to keep up. It’s also not really changed that much over its various iterations, but Nintendo has been experimenting with the last couple of games trying to change that formula to keep it fresh. (Man there were some nice pharmaceutical references in that last sentence and I wasn’t really trying.)
Last year’s (okay, technically 2013’s, but it released on the last day of the year) Dr. Luigi game made a small change to the way that you played Dr. Mario by adding a second pill that made all your medicine look like “L” shapes. It was a small change, but it completely changed the way you had to think about playing the game. This year the new mechanic, and the subtitle to the game, is Miracle Cures. These new power ups add another element to the game that makes you rethink the way you put pieces into the playfield.
Continue reading Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Review
Since NIS America has brought yet another insanely niche JRPG to us here in the west, I thought it would be best to strap on my thickest pair of glasses and jump into it with a review. Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy! Continue reading Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy Review (PS Vita)
The original Swords & Soldiers was released on WiiWare back in 2009. That game immediately took over my household as my son and I played it all the time. The game had an irreverent humor, solid gameplay and some really cool visuals. All of that was packaged into a game that was just plain fun to play, even if you weren’t a fan of real-time strategy games. I hoped back then for another game with more factions, but one never came and Ronimo Games moved on to other projects.
If you’re unaware of just what Swords & Soldiers is, let me explain it for you. It’s a side-scrolling real-time strategy game. You control one of three factions. In this case the Vikings (the only returning faction from the first game), the Persians (a well-balanced team with access to devastating spells late in the game) and the crafty Demons. In battle two armies line up opposed to each other, one coming from the left, and one coming from the right. You select units to deploy and when chosen they begin moving in a straight line from your base towards the enemy. Once released you can’t stop them. They’ll only stop to encounter enemy troops or once they’ve reached the enemy base. The only real control you have over your army, aside from choosing when to deploy troops, is the spells that you have available.
Continue reading Swords & Soldiers II Review
Shapes of Gray by Secret Tunnel Entertainment is, as the name implies, about various shapes that are different shades of gray but not as many as you are probably thinking. The one shape you will control is a small octagon like blob that can swing a sword. You will battle other shapes that start out as small and simple but as you progress you will encounter a mix of larger or faster shapes. Each level will take place inside of a small circular arena and will only last about ten seconds meaning you will have to act fast or suffer a game over. Continue reading Shapes Of Gray Review
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is the first video game adaption on a dedicated gaming system of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan series. It’s developed by Spike Chunsoft and is being published by Atlus in the west. We learned not too long ago that the game was getting localized by Atlus. This of course is a pretty huge deal for anime enthusiasts and fans of the series. Likewise the move brings a mature series to the 3DS and gives the system a type of game not many developers are making for the system; that being a mature 3D action game with single player, local multiplayer, and online multiplayer.
The bulk of the gameplay stays true to the series with combat and much of the movement playing out in a fashion similar to web swinging in Spiderman. This happens through a body-harness-like suit called Omni-directional Mobility Gear or ODM Gear for short. It’s also known as Three Dimensional Maneuver Gear and Vertical Maneuvering Equipment though it’s only referred to as ODM gear in this game. Like the anime, ODM gear uses gas so you’ll need to keep an eye on your gas meter. When you get low, you’ll need to use a new Gas Cylinder otherwise you’ll be stuck on the ground and near useless.
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Bloo Kid 2 comes from German independent games developer, Winterworks, who have a growing library of games that have featured on various platforms such as smartphones, Steam and, for Bloo Kid 2, the Nintendo eShop. The company tends to favour 8 and 16 bit stylised games and from my experience with Bloo Kid 2, they’re pretty good at it.
Following on from his first (I’m assuming as I haven’t played it) action packed adventure, the protagonist, Bloo Kid, and his lady are taking a stroll with their baby, when a gargoyle like creature appears and swoops up Mrs. Kid and baby Kid. Then your adventure begins. That’s about as much story as you get in this retro-style, 2D platforming adventure; not that it’s a bad thing. It’s really no less story than you’d get in a Super Mario adventure. The opening intro really just serves to give your adventuring a purpose. Continue reading Bloo Kid 2 Review