Implosion – Never Lose Hope Review

Implosion – Never Lose Hope Review

Apr 30, 2015

Implosion – Never Lose Hope is a hack-n-slash action game that takes place after Earth has been invaded, and subsequently lost to, a weaponized virus that mutates humans into vile, disgusting creatures that kill everyone they see. With the question of how they sustain themselves decades after supposedly killing everyone off being left unanswered, the humans have set to the stars and created off-world colonies, being protected by a special army of special distantly-controlled robots, who are able to fight the creatures without putting anyone at risk of infection. The game follows the adventures of one of the pilots of these mechs, who has to return to Earth, in order to investigate a beacon that went off somewhere inside.

Right from there, Implosion – Never Lose Hope sounds like a high-budget game with an interesting and complex story – and, surprisingly, it is. There are cutscenes, and professional voice acting, and complex gameplay – the game honestly wouldn’t look bad if it was released on PSN tomorrow. But this all comes with a huge “but”. Implosion – Never Lose Hope is merely a trial that expires at several missions in, and requires the purchase of the whole game, which costs 10 bucks. It’s a pretty huge price for a mobile game. This means that even if the game is awesome, you’re left wondering if it’s better to purchase 5 simpler and cheaper games instead. Which is a shame, since Implosion really is a good game, but not on a 10 bucks level good.

Gameplay of Implosion is a pretty standard hack-n-slash, set in the cyberpunkish background. The player’s mech is controlled viaImplosion 2 a virtual stick and a bunch of buttons. It levels up and can be upgraded by installing special libraries that can be found throughout the levels, or purchased from the store. The mech has a main melee weapon, and a bunch of long-range weapons that are quite difficult to aim properly. The melee weapon has a relatively simple, but varied enough combo system, as well as several special abilities that can be activated in the time of need. The enemies are also pretty distinct and have different behavior and attacks, and require some skill to kill – especially if the player wants to get the perfect score after beating the level.

Wrapping up, I’d say that Implosion is a great game. I’m eager to see more of its kind on Play Store, which currently lacks serious triple-A titles. But at the same time, its price makes it comparable to the PC and console-style games – and when viewed in that light, Implosion isn’t exactly up to the level.

Darkness Reborn Review

Darkness Reborn Review

Dec 30, 2014

I find it incredibly funny that mobile platforms get tons more MMO games than the consoles, even if most of them are not exactly MMOs, but multiplayer RPGs. Darkness Reborn is a shining example of that. Maybe not too shiny, since it doesn’t offer anything unusual, except for solid gameplay, a bunch of staple mobile RPG tropes and a surprisingly vibrant community.

Darkness Reborn gives the player a task of defeating a cursed hero, who plagues the world and corrupts living creatures. The campaign consists of a linear number of missions, each one lasting no more than five or ten minutes, and all of them ending in some sort of a boss fight. There are a couple of heroes available from the start, although the game teases with more coming later. The heroes have different stats and abilities, but they all have the same general mechanics: there is a basic attack that can be spammed into a simple combo, and several special abilities that have a cooldown and require mana to use. I played as a ninja, a girl with breasts literally the size of her head that jiggle like they’re filled with water and adolescent dreams.

The gameplay is close to that of Dynasty Warriors kind of games, where the RPG styled hero managing is combined with hack-n-slash action. Darkness Reborn contains every part of Darkness Reborn 3the standard free-to-play RPG model, including but not limited to lots of loot-hoarding, equipment upgrades, passive and active skill upgrades, energy required to go on a mission, a PvP mode, and lots and lots of grinding. I mean, you can’t really call it “grinding” when grinding is literally all you do. Just like the other hack-n-slash RPGs, Darkness Reborn only gets larger in scale after a while, only giving the new, cool mechanics to the enemies. But I’ve played worse, and for all its simplicity, the battles in Darkness Reborn are actually pretty fun.

Overall, it’s basically another mission-based free-to-play MMORPG on the platform. Not bad, but in my head, it’s already getting absorbed into a collective memory of all the other fantasy MMOs like it.

Eternity Warriors 3 Review

Eternity Warriors 3 Review

Jun 11, 2014

Eternal Warriors 3 starts off with the basic formula of Blizzard’s Diablo series. Players pick from a warrior, monk or mage (locked) and embark on a instantance based journey around a central town, ala Tristram.

Screenshot_2014-06-07-11-48-42Each area has a few basic quests, like killing a certain amount of enemies, but most of the game is simply basic hack and slash, where the player works their way through an area full of enemies. There is a standard attack button a parry button and a few additional buttons for various skills that are little more that stronger hits. There are no healing spells, buffs or anything as such.

There is an abundance of loot in Eternal Warriors 3. Various pieces of armour, weapons and reagents are everywhere and are often dropped by dead enemies. Equipment can be fused together to boost its stats (which consumes the fused items) and once it is a high enough level it can be further boosted with a reagent and changes form. Then the item requires more fusing and so on. Getting a piece of equipment to a really powerful level takes a lot of grinding.

And indeed the game itself rewards endless grinding. The constant flow of loot and easy gameplay generally encourages the player to repeat the same dungeons again and again to quickly acquire new things to fuse to their existing equipment. There are a few really challenging bosses and levels in the game which act as meat gates until players become powerful enough to defeat them.

In a nutshell Eternal Warriors 3’s gameplay is decent, if unexceptional.

Screenshot_2014-06-07-10-59-42Most of this goodness is undone however by a critical lack of player interaction. All questing in Eternity Warriors 3 is done alone. There is no way to form a party of any kind and the only time the player sees other players is in the town when not in battle and when in a PvP match. This lack of party combat really makes Eternity Warriors a bore after a while. Hacking though hordes of enemies can only be fun for a little while and the lack of party dynamics and varied classes really gives Eternity Warriors 3 a short shelf life. There is the ability to form guilds in game, but there is little point to this when the guild can’t fight together.

Eternity Warriors 3 looks really good. Most equipment appears on the player’s character so it’s fun to see characters tool up and combat animations and enemies look good. Skills are nice and flashy and the game is high res and always moves smoothly no matter what is going on. The sound is fine but rather repetitive. The same combat grunts and enemy sounds can get dull fast.

Eternity Warriors 3 isn’t a terrible game as such, but without true multiplayer the game just isn’t compelling. For a basic loot and slash experience players would probably be better off with Dungeon Hunter 3. For true MMORPG gameplay try Order and Chaos. Eternal Warriors 3 is too one dimensional and dull to warrant attention.


Join The Open Beta of Upcoming Hack ‘n Slash Darkstone

Join The Open Beta of Upcoming Hack ‘n Slash Darkstone

Feb 25, 2014

Darkstone_Betaandroid_screen_mobile03

Darkstone is a hack-n-slash action that looks somewhat like Diablo. The players are to defeat an ancient evil, after defeating countless minions in randomly-generated dungeons, and gaining epic equipment. If the game looks promising to you, there’s still time to join the public beta and try the game out before it’s released. Simply join the Google+ group and claim a copy for yourself: Darkstone Beta on Google+.

Hero Siege’s Upcoming Online Multiplayer Works Between PC, Android and iOS

Hero Siege’s Upcoming Online Multiplayer Works Between PC, Android and iOS

Feb 21, 2014

Hero Siege 2

Hero Siege is a very unusual hack-n-slash RPG with lots of aspects of a rogue-like, done in very pleasant pixel-art graphics. Recently, the developer has tweeted that the game will support seamless unified multiplayer between iOS, Android and PC versions. This means that you can get the game from Google Play and game against your friends on Steam! HeroSiege is available for free from here: HeroSiege on Google Play.

Hero Siege Review

Hero Siege Review

Dec 31, 2013

Hero Siege (not to be confused with physics puzzler Siege Hero) is a hack ‘n slasher with roguelike/procedural death labyrinth elements that feels like it’s not quite built for Android, but there’s some bloody fun to be had here.

Players control a hero of one of several classes, trying to survive in one of three arenas with multiple sets of levels. Players attack in one of four directions with their base attacks, attacking waves of enemies and periodic bosses. Enemies drop coins, which are used for in-game upgrades like stat boosts and health potions, and crystals, which can be used for a variety of things, including temporary boosts, crystal keys for valuable chests, and cosmetic upgrades.

Hero Siege is a game of frantic survival, as waves come in and players must fight them off while seeing what loot awaits on the level: getting potions which can help but also lower stats are important, and players who look around the levels will get the spoils. As a free hack’n slash game, it definitely holds up its bargain well, and crystals aren’t explicitly necessary – and can be collected in the game proper too.

HeroSiege-4

The game doesn’t seem to be optimized all that well, as even on my Nexus 4, on the game’s “high” graphics setting, the game suffers from regular slowdown. It’s a fast-paced top-down 2D game, but it doesn’t seem as if it should be causing that much in the way of stuttering. Set the graphics to low if necessary. The art seems rather rough around the edges no matter what.

There’s support for MOGA gamepads, but it’s a bit buggy as of publication – the developer claims that this is due to the MOGA Pivot app, of all things. Oh, the irony.

Really, this feels a lot more like it’s structured as a PC/console-type game, a sit-down experience meant for lengthy play sessions, more than hat a mobile-friendly game would have. This can get players latched on to the game for longer than they might want to be, and it’s not just the “I don’t want to stop playing” sensation as much as it is the “I haven’t reached a good stopping point” sensation that makes it hard to jump in to and keep playing.

Really, I almost wonder if this is just a clever Steam Greenlight campaign for the game. There’s a PC version already available, and really, making mobile games is a risky financial proposition, especially on Android still. So, go free-to-play, get some attention that way, maybe make some side cash off of the game, but putting a big Greenlight button on the title screen might be converting those necessary votes to get on to Steam and to have the game be a financial success. This is mostly just speculation, but it seems like a rather clever scheme for someone to try.

Hero Siege is well worth the download for hack ‘n slash fans, though it definitely is far from game of the year material.

Clash of Puppets Review

Clash of Puppets Review

Dec 19, 2013

If you didn’t hate vampires before, despite having lots of reasons to do so already, Clash of Puppets is your chance to start. It’s a pretty classic 3D platformer/hack-n-slash game, similar to any other 3D platformer, all the way to Mario 64. Although there’s a bunch of issues I have with it, it’s mostly an alright game with fine graphics and action. Player has to complete a level, fighting off various enemies, escaped from different monster movies, including the flipping vampires, and in the process – collect as much as he can of the coins, scattered across the level. The player character wields a melee weapon, a bunch of ranged weapons, and traps that he can leave in his wake. I’m not sure why the game is called Clash of Puppets, as I have seen no puppetry involved, although the characters do look like cheap Chinese Anime knock-off toys. Speaking of characters, I found the enemies’ voices extremely irritating, although it could just be me.

The levels, which are quite numerous and set in three different worlds, also require the player to run and jump around different Clash of Puppets 2obstacles, although making mistakes doesn’t really mean losing lots of health – while confronting the bloody vampires does. By the way, the great thing about Clash of Puppets is that there are a bit more coins on each level, than required to get three stars at the end, so the player can miss a couple, without having to replay the level all over again. On the other hand, if he dies, he has to. There is absolutely no saving feature, so dying at the end of the level means replaying it all over from the start. Another issue I’ve had with the game, besides the vampires that can kiss my butt any time, is the somewhat inconvenient weapon switching system that requires taking the aiming finger off the screen, and requires some practice to get along with.

Overall, I found Clash of Puppets a consistent, nicely done platformer. Its battle pacing and shooting are a bit flawed, but it’s still a fine game with lots of levels, weapons, and enemies. The vampires still suck, though.

10tons’ Trouserheart Puts on its Pants, Goes Over to Android

10tons’ Trouserheart Puts on its Pants, Goes Over to Android

Oct 15, 2013

Trouserheart 2

10Tons has recently released a new game, a hack-n-slash action with a fantasy theme. Players take the role of a pantless, but unhinged warrior, and need to destroy every enemy that comes in their way with a set of mighty upgreadable powers. The game is available for $2.99 from here: Trouserheart on Amazon Store.

Fallen World Is Now Available For OUYA

Fallen World Is Now Available For OUYA

Sep 20, 2013

Fallen World 2

Fallen World is a post-apocalyptic fuse between a hack-n-slash action gameplay and buy-n-upgrade tower defense gameplay. It’s available for $3.99 on OUYA store, and can also be purchased for Desura, iOS, from here: Fallen World Official Web-Site.

Heroes of Loot Review

Heroes of Loot Review

Sep 12, 2013

Heroes of Loot’s fast-paced Gauntlet-inspired take on the hack ’n slash and roguelike genre is a game I’ve been curious to see as a final, polished product. There was definite promise in the preview versions of Orangepixel’s take on the roguelike with more arcade influences than most games in the burgeoning genre have. I am excited to say that it turned out quite well: this is a hack ’n slash that’s intense and fun.

Players control one of four heroes, starting from level 1, earning experience as they slay enemies. The goal is ultimately to get high scores, with XP used to fortify the character’s health, and money used to buy temporary upgrades, all in the name of lasting longer.

There’s lots of loot in Heroes of Loot but there’s also lots of enemies, and chaos really rules the day. The secret to success, I’ve found, is to stay out of harm’s way. Stay away from enemies; all the characters use projectile-based attacks and magic items come along often, which can help clear out groups of enemies. Bottleneck enemies in long corridors whenever possible to take them out easily. And stay out of the scrums as much as possible – health drains quickly, especially deeper in the dungeon!

The dungeon crawling gameplay largely stays on its beaten path throughout the length of the game, but the difficulty increase in the dungeon over time adds some variation to the experience. It gives a sense of long-term progression, and something for players to go after, as experts will definitely want to be challenged right away as they get good at the game. These tougher dungeons make high scores quicker to get, too.

HeroesOfLoot-1

The multiple characters have slight differences, really, but I found the wizard to be my heavy hitter thanks to his great stats but slow XP gain, which can be negated with smart play. If the player handles staying alive and doesn’t be Rambo, letting the powerful attacks take care of enemies, success can be obtained. This is a fast and frantic game, but intelligence certianly feels rewarded.

Heroes of Loot of course comes with gamepad support (this is an Orangepixel game), with HID gamepads supported, and even the Green Throttle controllers able to play the game in two-player co-op, because dungeon crawls are just more fun when friends and loved ones are involved. Even though it’s all just controlled by a joystick and a button, the game feels really good with a gamepad. It’s not bad on a touchscreen, but with a gamepad, it just feels great.

Really, Orangepixel has been on a real upswing since Chrono and Cash: games that were once interesting retro curiosities are starting to be formed into some really cool titles. This is a stripped-down hack ’n slash that takes advantage of what it is, and uses the trademark Orangepixel art style and sense of humor to add character to it too. Heroes of Loot is well worth checking out.

Quadropus Rampage Review

Quadropus Rampage Review

Jun 6, 2013

The roguelike genre has undergone a curious evolution in the modern era of gaming. Once an overly-complex genre only accessible to patient gamers, now developers have tweaked it into something that appeals to a wider audience. This is where Quadropus Rampage comes in: casual game sessions and accessibility meet challenging hack ‘n slash action and character development. And it’s a brilliant combination.

Players control a four-legged cephalopod, a quadropus that makes up for its lack of limbs with an abundance of fury, swinging various weapons around to take out the other dastardly creatures of the sea. The most dastardly of the dastardly sea creatures is Pete, god of the sea. He’s a jerk, and Grubby (first seen in Towelfight 2: The Monocle of Destiny, also from Butterscotch Shenanigans) wants him gone.

However, Pete lives deep in the sea, and so players must go deeper and deeper into the sea, one dpeth level at a time, picking up new weapons and leveling up to get strong enough to sink Pete once and for all. It’s like a hack ‘n slash Toe Jam and Earl.

Quadropus Rampage blends both a short-term roguelike with long-term benefits and growth. Players level up while playing, earning experience for killling enemies, improving their stats as they level up. New weapons can be picked up, all with different stats. Like the aforemention TJ&E, falling off the world is quite possible, but it comes at a penalty: players take damage and may find themselves taking on enemies before they’re too strong to face them.

QuadropusRampage-06

Currency of orbs and the rarer dubloons can also be earned along the way, as this is a free-to-play title now, unlike Towelfight 2 which was paid with no IAP. Players must make choices with the orbs: they can be used on permanent stat upgrades that make the quest to take down Pete much easier in the long run, or on short-term ultra-powerful weapons that Grubby sells. The achievements are among the most useful in a game yet, as they too provide permanent upgrades, but with a choice of two different effects to have. The gameplay is pure hack ‘n slash, but there’s a lot of roguelike elements in there too: upon death, characters reset to the beginning, but the player has new experience for the next go-round, and there’s tangible long-term benefits as well as well.

QuadropusRampage-11

The controls feature a lot of on-screen buttons: there’s attacking, a dodge move, shield and smash attack activation, and virtual buttons for swapping weapons and advancing dialogue that pops up. It’s a bit cluttered like Bastion on iOS was, and gamepad support would be quite welcome.

Quadropus Rampage succeeds for much the same reason that Towelfight 2 did: it tweaks familiar genres just enough to be its own thing, and its quirky sense of humor comes through as well. I found myself playing this one for long stretches of time while I had other things to do, and that’s quite the sign for a good game. Now, excuse me: Pete needs a good whooping.

Cardinal Quest Review

Cardinal Quest Review

Jul 2, 2012

The roguelike is a genre of game that I’ve always wanted to get into: the idea of having a character that one doesn’t want to die, because death is permanent, yet through death learning more about the world to eventually master it. I would love to be the kind of person that is a Nethack expert. However, I was born in the overcaffeinated generation and I demand my games be interesting within minutes. Thus, Cardinal Quest is a great entry point into roguelikes for my blood, which is pretty much straight caffeine at this point.

Players choose one of three classes: the fighter, thief, and wizard, each with their own strengths. The fighter gets in enemies’ faces to fight them, the wizard uses abilities and spells to fight from a distance, and the thief is fast, preferring to strike first. Then, they descend into the dungeon, to try and kill the evil minotaur Asterion. Levels are randomly generated, with items and abilities appearing in random order. However, better equipment and tougher enemies generally appear over time in a regular order, so don’t expect to be fighting minotaurs in the second room. Still, the randomization means that each experience will be somewhat different because the different abilities will force players to adapt in each session. The soundtrack from noted indie game composer Whitaker Trebella sets a perfect mood for the game, ramping up as the later levels of the dungeon are entered.

The thief is probably the most fun to play as, because the Shadow Walk is so much fun to use. He can use it often thanks to his high speed stat that the ability determines its recharge rate on. It enables him to quickly sneak around undetected, but also do great amounts of damage by attacking while undetected. He isn’t easy to use, but he can be clever when used properly. Though, learning the game isn’t that hard: a few playthroughs will get players acclimated to the mechanics.

However, the game isn’t very deep. Players don’t have much say in how their character is built, and don’t get time to really care for them because with only 2 lives, the end can come quickly. Still, this is meant more for bite-sized chunks of play, and this is more for the kind of person who wants the mechanics of the genre with none of the filler. The money earned in the game is just there as a score indicator. The controls could really use swipe-based movement, as while the control scheme works well on phones, it seems fraught with inaccuracy on tablets. Inventory management controls make it too easy to accidentally move around items when just trying to view their stats.

Cardinal Quest is a good snack for those looking for a quick roguelike experience, without expecting anything too deep.