Contact Info / Websites
The two biggest sources of comfort in my life right now as I tackle the relentless game "Dark Souls"
Fear Is Vigilance
Overall Score: 7/10
"Unique Little Beat-Em-Up"
So, here we have "Fear Is Vigilance."
It's a snappy little beat-em-up style game, adding a comical, and somewhat sinister twist to public safety! With simple controls, a humorous plot and flixel style graphics, you can be sure to get a good time from this game!
With no prior knowledge about this game, I had no idea what to expect when I loaded it up. The title screen allows you to jump straight into the game, so I wasted no time in getting started. You're shown a short little scene of the two main characters Justine and Marcy arriving in their van, and are then presented with your first task: handing out personal alarms to the public. It's explained that you only have 5 days to work, and the on-screen instructions are very clear and easy to understand.
After, you're taking to your first night scene, where your goal is to assault a certain number of people, so more people will be persuaded to accept your free alarms the next day. The game generally follows this pattern, and everything is explained along the way. Short cut-scenes help to deliver the story, and on-screen instructions give you controls, so it couldn't be more simple.
The graphics are okay, but nothing special. you've seen graphics like this a good few times before, so you cant expect too much, but that being said, I think this style of art has a certain charm about it, and I've always been a fan.
The controls in this game are about as simple as can be; arrow keys to move, X and Z to interact. it's perfectly responsive and there are no faults to speak of. If you cant get the hang of controls like these, you probably shouldn't be playing computer games. They basically are sufficient enough for the game in every way, so there's no complaints there.
You'll find that the levels in this game don't really change much. You're either handing out alarms, or beating people up, but apart from one or two little changes to give a very slight increase in difficulty, you wont find this very challenging or diverse. When assaulting people, you'll find it's best to get them while they're alone, otherwise, passers-by will come to your victim's aid. Once you've got a gang of enemies around you, it's time to run. You'll quickly be overpowered and defeated, so be careful. Your best option is to hid in the bushes until they lose interest.
As previously mentioned, there are one or two little changes as the game progresses; people start to use the alarms you've been handing out, and street lamps make hiding more difficult, but these changes only increase the difficulty very slightly.
The only real problem I've found is that the game is too short, and a little repetitive. The novelty is enough to keep you entertained for its duration, but you wont find any real challenge or diversity, and for that reason, I can only award it so many points. There's an arcade option once you complete the main story, but that only does so much to switch things up a bit. It's done a great job for what it is, but it's nothing major.
The sound in this game is average. The music is simple and the sound effects are sufficient, but there's nothing about it that puts it a cut above the rest. It's basically what you'd expect from a flixel game. It's very fitting, and appropriate for the game, but if you wanted something special or a little out of the ordinary, you're looking in the wrong place.
The sound quality is good, but then you would expect that from a game like this, so there's not really much to be said there.
Number Of Glitches: 0
As of this moment, I haven't found any glitches, so that's always a plus!
All in all, this is a fun game, but a little brief and a little repetitive, however, it's got a slight comical twist which helps to give it a little charm, so definitely give it a go!
Overall Score: 8/10
"A Great Example Of A Well-Done RPG"
There are scores of games that claim to be RPG brilliance, but few live up to it. Crystal Story brings together all the elements needed for a good RPG and blends them together seamlessly, to bring us a great game which you can happily lose a few hours hacking out. With great characters, an easy to use combat system and nice difficulty curve, what more could you want?
Once the game is loaded up, you're presented with a clear cut menu screen. Always a winner; there's nothing worse than a game with a cluster-fuck of options before you even get started. Once you create your new game, you're instantly presented with a cut-scene that sets the stage for the adventure you're about to embark on. It doesn't drag out too long, and after, you're introduced to the main characters, and given some direction as to what your goal is. Unfortunately, there is no voice acting involved, so you have to click to scroll through dialogue. Not a major drawback, but some voices would have been nice, and some people find scrolling through dialogue a bit monotonous.
From there, you're ready to begin and start tackling the Evil Cave. A simple help feature is available if you need it, but you'll find the game is easy enough to understand without it, provided you've played a few RPGs before, which I'm sure most of you have.
All the menu screens work great, and are easy to navigate, along with the game-world itself. The graphics are stylish and colourful, and you'll easily recognize all the various monsters you'll be tackling throughout the game. Everything has its own individual details, making characters and environments memorable.
That being said, I personally feel some more detail could have gone into the backgrounds in the dungeons. They don't look bad by any means, but a few little touch-ups here and there would have really helped to bring them to life.
The entire game is simply point and click. Whether you're moving characters or making choices, your mouse is all you'll need. This simplistic control system is a joy to use, and is very responsive. Some people may say that they would have liked to have seen hot-keys included, or have been given the option to use wasd or the arrow keys to navigate, but I really don't see much need for them.
You'll have no problem adjusting to the battle system. It cycles through everyone's turns, and presents you with clear options as to what you would like each character to do, and gives you the choice of which enemy to attack. Engaging in battle is as simple as walking into the enemy you wish to fight, but be careful, when you touch one enemy, you battle all the enemies on the screen!
After fights, you are awarded xp, and can use it to level up, and assign new powers to your players.
If you get tired of the main quest, there's mini-games and side quests to unlock and complete, so you're never going to get too bored focusing on the same objectives.
The games difficulty has a nice slope also, so you wont suddenly find the game has gotten too hard, or that you are ill-equipped to deal with its challenges.
The sound quality in the game is great, with no quality issues. The music is quirky and appropriate throughout, and there's separate themes to let you know when you're facing a boss, although that should be apparent anyway. It really helps to immerse you in the games atmosphere, and doesn't become boring and repetitive.
The sound effects are nothing amazing, but work perfectly fine. Different attacks make different noises, and give killing enemies a satisfying twist. Even the noise it makes when you click a button is pleasant to the ear, and makes everything feel smooth.
I found that if there's a chest in the room when you enter, it disappears after you battle an enemy.
All in all, this is a fantastic RPG that keeps you interested, and simple works extremely well. You'll find yourself amused by the characters, and keep to level up and expand your arsenal. Better get started!
Toys Vs Nightmares
Overall Score: 7/10
"Night-time mayhem. Can you keep your cool?"
Toys Vs Nightmares captures all our bedtime fears from when we were young, and gives us an imaginative and strategic way to battle the creatures that go bump in the night! That being said, lets see just how this experience has been pulled together.
Immediately when the game loads up, you're presented with an eye-pleasing title screen, prompting you to dive straight into the action. The colours are bright, and everything is drawn with a cartoon flair. You wont find yourself being blown away by the graphics, but they are somewhat unique to the author, and have a certain charm about them.
Special effects are unfortunately rather understated. Some toys may crumble apart, or enemies will disappear in puffs of smoke, but its nothing amazing.
All in all, its got a charm about it and is pleasing to the eye, but this clearly isn't a piece of artistic brilliance.
The story behind the game isn't spectacular; you're a kid in bed at night with various monsters advancing on you. You set up base and fend them off using various toys and such. It's by no means the most inspired concept in the world, but it passes with flying colours, simply because we can all relate to it, and it invokes a sense of nostalgia for many.
Lets start with the control. It's all simply point and click, which is appropriate, and you'll find you're not often zipping your mouse franticly around the screen, when trying to make your selections under pressure; everything is grouped sufficiently. One thing that you might wish you had is hotkeys. Granted, you aren't constantly in a frenzy trying to make your selections, but I just think it's always nice to be able to jump straight to the item you want at the press of a button.
The game gradually increases its difficulty, by introducing new nightmares with varied skills and attributes. At the same time, you're given new toys to fend them off with, again, each with their own special abilities and stats. I found constantly clicking the storybooks to generate energy for new toys quite tedious, and would have much preferred that you earned your energy from killing the nightmares, however it still isn't a bad way to execute this kind of game; I guess that's just more of a personal preference, but I'm sure some of you will feel the same.
Sometimes I felt that the difficulty made a sudden jump between levels, but it soon evens out after, so it's nothing to worry about, and actually keeps the feeling of challenge alive and present throughout the game.
The music in this game is uninspired. It's typical of its genre, and it's repetitive, so instead of helping to immerse the gamer in the games atmosphere, it becomes more of a drone in the background. Now it's not exactly crucial in this kind of game, but it can be annoying, or disappointing to gamers expecting something more. The sound effects are also minimal, and unimpressive. It doesn't add any satisfaction for taking down a particularly touch nightmare.
That being said, the sound isn't exactly bad either. It's not choppy, or of poor quality, but it isn't going to be giving the audiophiles any orgasms.
Number Of Glitches: 1
I tested all the buttons and features, and as far as I could tell, there was only one glitch: when you bring up the settings screen on the toy select menu between rounds, clicking different settings will also select or buy toys from the menu. Not a huge gaming flaw, but sometimes annoying, especially when you accidentally buy a toy you didn't want yet.
On the whole, it's a fun game that has been delivered in style, with minor drawbacks. Dive under the blankets and load it up!
It occurred to me that theres not enough Beardyman in the world. What this man does with his voice is insane, check it out.
Battle For Wayland Keep
Overall score: 8/10
"Good game/torture device"
So, the battle for Wayland Keep is on, and it's all up to you to save everyone!
In this game you take control of a brave hero and single-handedly (more or less) defend the keep from the Empire.
It's great roll-playing fun immersed in a detailed fantasy realm, but how does it all come together?
The menu screen is simple, and well laid out. It doesnt bombard you with choices, it just lets you dive straight into the game, as a good menu should.
Graphically speaking, this game ranks very highly. All the artwork is done to a high standard and is very detailed. You'll find the characters all look unique, and are styled appropriately. The game has a somewhat cinematic approach to help deliver the story and set the scene, involving cut-scenes with some really great animation and artwork, which is always better than just scrolling through a bunch of text right?
There are one or two things that draw it back however. You'll find that the graphics, as good as they are, are nothing new. It all looks great, has a good level of detail and comes together very nicely, but it doesn't every really impress you to the point of thinking "damn, this is amazing!" or at least not in my opinion anyway.
Also, There's a lot of dark colours, and although the dark colours fit the theme and style of the game, some brighter, more vibrant colours for the lightening and fireball moves and such would have really made them pop out.
All in all though the graphics are great, and you wont get sick of looking at them any time soon.
The game starts you off in a quick and simple tutorial, just to explain the basics of combat and movement. As new features are introduced through the game, you're instructed on how to operate them. It's mostly controlled through by pointing and clicking, however, it comes with come handy hotkey controls, and if you dont want to scroll the screen with your mouse, you've got the option of using wasd, or the arrow keys.
There really isnt much wrong with the control, its smooth and fluent, however, sometimes scrolling with the mouse can be somewhat tedious because of the sensitivity, but it's really nothing major.
You'll spend lots of time on the battlefield, facing wave after wave of the Empires soldiers, defending the wall of the keep, and gain an arsenal of special abilities to help you as you progress. In addition, you can upgrade your characters defences and increase your attack power, or reinforce the wall using points you earn during battle. You never feel like you wont be able to handle what the game throws at you, but still recognize the challenge, which is a hard balance to get right!
When you're not fighting, you're inside the camp, either upgrading as mentioned, or talking to other soldiers to gain more information about the upcoming battles, or the history of Candor (the land you're in).
Personally, I was uninterested in all the dialogue and stories, but I did read much of them, and can tell you that they're well written, and paint a vivid picture of this fantasy realm.
The problem I found was that I gradually started to find defending the keep somewhat tedious. You never really get any other objectives, so after a while, it can begin to feel repetitive, but the challenge and progression you make keep you satisfied enough to keep playing, and you do get a rewarding feeling when new abilities become available.
The music and sound effects are all very appropriate and used well, and the sound quality is of a very high standard, but none of it is very memorable.
What the game needs is a distinctive theme that plays at key moments through the game and such. Something you can grab onto, and that will always remind you of this game every time you hear it.
So to reiterate, the sound is good, the music is appropriate and the effects are satisfying, but there's nothing that really sticks in your head.
Oh, and if I hear "the wall is under attack!" one more time, I'm gonna shoot myself. I'm sure after you hear what I mean, You'll understand why I called it a game/torture device.
All in all, it's a great game, and I highly recommend you give it a go!
From now on, I'll be reviewing the games on the front page, paying special attention to the ones in the big banner. These will be in-depth reviews, hopefully offering constructive criticism, and my own personal perspective. Here's the first review, and I hope you enjoy!
Overall score: 6/10
"Fun game, Poor control"
Dimension Diver is a typical side-scrolling game. You've played hundreds of them before. Keep moving, and get to the end of the level. Where it comes to life is it's bright and vibrant graphics, which are more than appealing to the eye, however, it does have one or two significant drawbacks.
As soon as the game starts, you're greeted by a wonderfully colourful world, with a bubblegum appeal. The menu screen is easy to navigate, and the worlds you'll play through are unique and interesting. The characters really pop out at you, and everything is clear and easy to distinguish.
All that is great, but there's nothing ground-breaking about it, and it begs to have more special effects when you're dashing through the levels, or stomping enemies. Despite this though, it's very pleasing to look at.
The Game has no real story. There's no character dialogue or background info about what you're setting out to do before you start the game, although it is just a simple side-scrolling platformer, so maybe that's a good thing. At the end it's revealed that you've saved the universe, but the boss battles are repetitive, and unimpressive, so i dont really see what the threat was to begin with.
While the levels increase in difficulty at a well thought-out pace, I found the timer to be inconvenient. A lot of the games fun revolves around stomping on enemies and building up combos, but the timer seems to take away from that, and leave you in a rush.
The biggest hazard you'll come across is the control. Running and jumping couldn't be smoother, but the dash attack hinders you constantly. While it's a good attack, the way you execute it leaves you dashing around in mid-air, when all you wanted to do was tweak your jump a bit to make your mark. It can be very frustraighting.
Also, this game suffers the "Castlevania" effect. That means that when you get hit, you fly back, and often into a pit. Incredibly frustrating.
Overall, the gameplay and control is okay, but has a few drawbacks that really hinders the whole experience.
The sound quality is fine, but the sound effects seem to go unnoticed, and aren't very satisfying. Also, the music is adequate during the menu screen, but gets boring, uninspired, and unnoticed during the game itself, with no real drive or distinctive, memorable songs.
Not bad, but nothing special.
Overall, the game is a fun time-killer and well executed, but it leaves much to be desired if you're looking for a finely tuned platforming experience.
Give it a play, complete it in about ten minutes, then move on.
Who else appreciates the fine genre of math metal?
For those of you who don't know what it is, lets just say it's metal with fucked up time signatures and bar structures and stuff.
many people think it's just metal for people who cant keep time, or just utter shit, but personally, I think it kicks ass.
Welcome Home Armageddon.
Fucking, listen to it.
So I was browsing NG just now when I stumbled upon something I'd long forgotten:
It made me remember how awesome the whole thing was, and what great work everyone did.
So, a big thank you to everyone involved. I know it's been years, but you guys still impress me to no end!