Archive for August, 2014

magicite


Genre: 
Action, Adventure, RPG, Indie
Developer: Smash Games
Publisher: Smash Games
Release Date: Jun 9, 2014

Getting this game gifted to me on Steam last week was the best thing that happened to me this month game wise, and those are some big shoes to fill and I’ll tell you why. Magicite is a piece of procedurally generated genius, packed with hours of fun and intuitive game play. If it wasn’t for DOTA 2 I would have jumped on this game months ago, but that was consuming all of my time along with my Steam wallet. I saw this game in the Steam Greenlight forums and investigated further and found a very generously funded Kickstarter.

I was attracted by Magicite and its pixel graphics immediately, hard for me to compare, leaving Magicite in a field of its own. Since my affair with Terraria, these 2-D platformer games always seem catch my eye. Much like Terraria but even more like Castelvania: Symphony of The Night, Magicite is addicting like that first bite of sriracha covered chicken. Rougelike, with a crafting system and the ability to build weaponry and utilize merchants in town to make armor or melt ore, this semi-sandbox game is brilliant.

“Explore, craft, and survive in this Multiplayer RPG Platformer with permanent death. Featuring many Roguelike elements, Magicite randomly generates each underground dungeon for you and your friends to delve deep into. Chop trees, mine ores, and hunt beasts in order to collect the resources and materials you need to survive in the harsh and unforgiving environment. With a ton of character traits, stats, companions, and classes, players will have a different experience each play through. Be prepared to die… A LOT.” – Magicite

Each world and town being randomly generated along with your characters starting stats keeps this game fresh. Before you begin each game, you decide what character you want to play. Depending on which hero you choose, you’re given select attributes that go along with that characters race. Another thing keeping Magicite fresh and new is the unlockable item system. The more you play, the more races, items and companions you unlock.  Each of the unlockable items have a boost attributed to them, so when equipped to your hero it stacks not only with with his stats, but the randomly generated ones as well.

For every item you craft and enemy you kill, you gain experience points and levels. When you level up, like most games your stats are buffed, and every 5 levels you are able to choose a magic ability. These abilities are divided into 3 different categories; Melee, Magic and Ranged. With 5 special abilities per category every 5 levels offers something new aiding in your quest. Certainly a complex game, you must keep track of your health, weapon durability, and much like real life you need to stay fed. In early game, you will find it hard when trying to attack enemies, so focusing on gathering materials before engaging in a fight is usually a good strategy. Enemies can be as easy as a pig or murderous as a toxic lava ball spitting dinosaur, and everywhere in between. But watch out for the scourge, they leave no one alive in their wake, and are only summoned after spending too much time in a stage.

Magicite is a fast paced game, and its good for hours of fun, or a few minutes trying to kill time before work. One of the best things about a rougelike is its ability to pull you in for hours and watch you fall violently from grace after building an epic hero. Even more fun is the multiplayer aspect of Magicite, easily its best feature so far. Playing with your friends and sharing finds is even more fun. My first play through was with one of my former DOTA 2 team mates, so it was a blast from the start, as he was able to give me a few pointers to ease me into the game. A money system is also present in Magicite and certainly serves a purpose. The gold is obtained from killing enemies, found in treasure chests, or when selling unneeded items in town. Town is where you will craft your gear and cook your food, but if you choose not to, you can save up enough for some gnarly sword that does serious damage.

When you die, and the game ends you are given a score. This also is a layout detailing your gameplay with everything from kills to potions brewed. I love games that do this, because after 45 minutes of gaming you find yourself looking to improve and get better for the next round. Their is no word that describes this game other than fun. With every character having his own back story, all the different biomes and unbelievable imagery; like I always say, it’s the little things make a game as truly awesome as it is.

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 7/10
Story: 8/10
Challenge: 8/10
Replay Value: 9/10

Paper Sorcerer

Genre: Adventure, Indie & RPG
Developer: Jesse Gallagher
Publisher: Ultra Runaway Games
Release Date: Nov 21, 2013

For every horrible game that Kickstarter is responsible for, their’s always one that breaks the mold and stands out. I remember supporting Paper Sorcerer from the beginning stages when it was still in Kickstarter, waiting patiently for the day that I would finally be able to play this masterpiece. Its hard for a game to be so simple and complex at the same time, yet Paper Sorcerer seems to do just that. What you might think is a plain and boring video game ends up coming to life and involving you deep into the plot.

My first thoughts and impressions had me thinking that this game was obviously going to be totally awesome. I knew I had to have it after watching only the KS trailer, and once it made its way to Steam I was all over it. Within the first 5 minutes I was reminded of Dungeons & Dragons, playing with friends and calling out tactical moves. The turn based fighting system is well thought out and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Over are the days of the 3 minute bash sessions of games like Pokemon or Final Fantasy; Paper Sorcerer delivers tactical, powerful and serious battle sequences lasting longer than your average role player. The story line is action filled, as well as giving you the ability at points to choose what direction the scenes will go.

“A powerful sorcerer is on the cusp of dominating the land. A group of heroes bands together and seals him away inside a magical tome. Now as the sorcerer you must escape from this ancient prison and find a way to regain your magical powers using your wits and an array of summonable creatures to aid you. There may be more powerful forces at work as you navigate the dungeons and fight the heroes sent to subdue you… Paper Sorcerer is a stylish turn based RPG focused on strategy, party-building, and environmental puzzles. Fight with the skills and spells you have learned in a battle system that emphasizes strategy over grinding. Assemble a party of monsters and dark creatures to fight alongside you. Explore and solve environmental puzzles to unlock secret paths and find extra loot.” – Paper Sorcerer

Graphically this game must have been more challenging to animate than it would seem. With basically only 2 monochrome colors to work with, Paper Sorcerer is a artistic masterpiece and plays out more like a graphic novel than a video game. Although you have full navigation as the game is in the first person, on my 32 inch its like playing a giant fairy tale book that’s come to life. The subtle use of color throughout the game is genius and fits perfectly, from the effects of spells to the health and energy bar every detail has been covered. Each battle is reminiscent of the older Final Fantasy, where instead of the hero moving and performing each command, its represented by a small graphic, color or sound. As I’ve said in the past, its the simplicity that can make a game as good as it is, and that is certainly the case with Paper Sorcerer. The imagery in this game is absolutely amazing, and the use of essentially 2 colors is almost intoxicating.

Paper Sorcerer is as fun as it is challenging. I like games like these because the battles later in game are hard, but you’ve been prepared by several battles before it so you have an idea what you’re in for. I really enjoyed the turn based fighting system because each member of your party has a role that is greatly needed during battle. Party formation is one of the toughest parts of early game, and essential to continued play in later levels. You will need a tank, healer, and a ranged hero to make it anywhere (you already have magic covered, as you are a sorcerer), and Paper Sorcerer certainly gives you that option with a choice of several different heroes to choose from. Items are pivotal to game play, equipping each of your heroes with the proper weapons, shields and runes are key to completing each floor. Fighting is very important, because this game doesn’t focus solely on damage to end battles, you need to play more tactfully and use skills to buff strength and agility while making sure you keep your defense up.

Its the little things that count sometimes in a game that make or break it. One of these things is the difficulty setting when you first begin your game; you’re given the options Easy, Medium, Hard & 1980’s. The first time around, i chose 1980’s for the hell of it… lets just say that your first battle which is almost a guaranteed win, is a guaranteed loss. This was obviously a setting for the more experienced players of Paper Sorcerer. About the only thing I really didn’t like about the game other than the fact you cant use a controller, is the music. I have no idea who is responsible for it, but it needs a major overhaul and update. It just doesn’t fit well with the game whatsoever.

When it comes down to it, Paper Sorcerer is a great game, and highly suggested. So many different elements hold this game together making it a solid play through. Loaded with secrets and strong attention to detail, each item counts, and every room needs inspecting. Retro like an old D&D MSDos game and as modern as a new age RPG, everything about Paper Sorcerer is entertaining.

Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 7/10
Story: 7/10
Challenge: 7/10
Replay Value: 7/10