Posts Tagged ‘Game Review’

Deep Dungeons of Doom

Genre: Adventure, RPG, Hack & Slash, Casual
Developer: Bossa Studios
Publisher: Bossa Studios
Release Date: October 14th 2014

First off, this game met one of my prerequisites immediately: Looking like it was made in 1991 for MS-DOS or the Commadore 64, and this game fits it better than a condom. This Android port originally made for tablets, despite what some may say in forums, is a great port to PC and although simple, is still incredibly fun. Initially the graphics reminded me a lot of a recent release called “Ultionus” but the gameplay however is incredibly unique. Deep Dungeons of Doom takes a bunch of elements and blends them all together to create a playing experience like no other. I love everything from the painstakingly perfect pixel graphics,  intense and spectacular soundtrack, all the way down to the deep, rich and in-depth story straight out of the times of King Arthur.

Deep Dungeons of Doom is what I would call a “Timing Based” dungeon crawler. Meaning you can’t move your character on the screen and you only have 3 actions, attack, block, and use item. Simple and straight forward controls, my only complaint would be the lack of controller support, but I can only hope that will come in the future. Starting out is pretty basic, but it takes a short period of play to get the timing down for blocking and attacking enemies. You face your opponent in a turn based style, but battle is very much real-time. Seemingly simple at first, Deep Dungeons of Doom ends up turning into an involved and intricate game that continues to keep your mind at work and make good use of your keyboard skills. You can cause extra damage if you attack an enemy while they are attacking, but be aware; it works both ways, so watch out. The fighting isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. During boss battles, like the first dungeons boss Pitch Black, you need to learn his secret before being able to inflict any damage. Each enemy has a unique attack and block pattern, so stay on those toes and attack when they aren’t blocking, and block while the enemy is attacking.

You will meet monsters and you will need skill and tactics to defeat them. You will find weird and wonderful treasures along the way. Most will help you, but some might not. You may choose to play as a Crusader, a Witch or a Mercenary – in fact each one might well be required if you are to successfully complete your quest – but knowing when to use each one is something you are going to have to figure out for yourself. – Deep Dungeons of Doom

The whole point of the game is to clear dungeons and build the characters stats with special items and skills. After completing the first dungeon you are given missions to complete with the Crusader. Once the first dungeon is cleared you are then able to view the map, this is where you can visit the shops and are able to purchase potions and upgrade your skills. The first skill upgrade for the Crusader is “Holier Than Thou” which gives you +5% Miracle Heal & +1HP. In the dungeons you find Altars, these Altars are where you exchange gold for enhancements. Usable items make up a large part of gameplay and are essential to success… most of the time. Some items like “Contract of The Vampire” that gives you +1HP & deals +2 normal damage to your opponent have nothing but positive effects, but others like “Devils Contract” where on use you pay 8HP but receive +60% resistance to all, +6 attack & +6 agility for 3 floors have some negative effects as well. There are also equipable items found in random chests after you defeat an enemy in a dungeon, or in shops when on the map. Items such as “Sturdy Sword” gives +1 attack while equipped, or even better “Ring of Magic Cure” which requires 2 magic but gives +2HP per floor. With continued gameplay you unlock 2 other playable characters, also upgradable. This gives the game a bit more “depth”, using magic with the Witch and swift moves with the Mercenary, combining items with the heroes passive skills makes for an even better chance of victory.

The soundtrack stays true to the 8 bit era, composed with astonishing perfection. Songs don’t get overly boring or repetitive they actually keep you interested and are pretty catchy fitting the game perfectly. Graphically Deep Dungeons of Doom is brilliant with incredible pixel art capturing the essence of the original games we call retro that paved the path before it. The cut scenes are awesome with beautiful 8 bit graphics to tell its incredible and strong story line. The death animations are on point, imaginative and gorey as hell. I don’t usually promote games made for the tablet and ported to the PC, but in this case, its was done perfectly. I’ll be honest, I had no clue this was originally Android based that’s how good the gameplay in Deep Dungeons of Doom is. This is an incredibly fun game, and for the price completely worth it. Not only does it have several hours of gameplay, but the “replay factor” on this game is huge, because remember those dungeons do get deep.

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

1972

Genre: Action
Developer: DotEmu
Publisher: SNK
Release Date: October 2nd 2014 (Steam Release)

Whenever these games arrive on Steam, I feel the need to buy them. The nostalgia alone is all it takes for me. I remember playing the Metal Slug series in the arcades as a kid, and I always loved the side scrolling shooter style that it embodied. Growing up, Contra, and Super C, were two of my favorite games and I loved playing them with friends and seeing how far we could get. The Metal Slug games are very reminiscent of those like Contra and Super C and remind me a lot of my childhood, so when Metal Slug X hit Steam I had to grab it.

What is Metal Slug X? Well its a revamp of Metal Slug 2, re-released in 1999 for the NEO GEO MVS. It fixed many of the games problems and increased difficulty. Metal Slug X also introduced several different elements  into gameplay, like remixed music, time of day changes to the stages, and increased enemy counts to name a few. This shoot em up side scroller is fun at any difficulty, but a real controller smasher if you’re trying to play through the mission mode with only 10 credits. A game that is as difficult as it is fun is hard to find, and Metal Slug X seems to hit that happy medium.

“METAL SLUG X”, a masterpiece in SNK’s emblematic 2D run & gun action shooting game series, still continues to fascinate millions of fans worldwide to this day for its intricate dot-pixel graphics, and simple and intuitive game controls. One of the most highly praised titles in the series among Metal Slug fans for its refined balance and game volume, heads out to the Steam gaming platform! – Metal Slug X

The game starts off like any other Metal Slug game, you’re dropped from the sky Contra style and set loose upon the infidels. First off the games background really reminds me a lot of the old Aladdin game for SEGA, which I thought was a bit weird, but I digress… I really like how every level is different and offers new obstacles and challenges to overcome, making this game a bit more difficult than others in the series. One of the other things that stood out to me were the beefed up graphics adding a lot of extra sprites on-screen making it easier for a computer to process the graphical movements the NEO GEO couldnt. This Steam version is great because it’s not bound to the original NEO GEO system limitations which were often too slow to keep up with Metal Slugs on-screen antics. Everything you want in a side scrolling shooter, and “easy” is certainly not a world you would use to describe this game. Metal Slug X doesn’t disappoint.

I love the pseudo Nazi references, also makes it a little easier to kill everyone… Only a little. This game is still one of the hardest platform shooters ever programmed. The arcade stand alone of this must have raked in a ton of money for the machines owners because all I can imagine myself doing is sinking more and more quarters into it until i beat the game. 6 Missions and stage select make for a good play though with friends. This version of Metal Slug incorporates a ton of great weapons, and power ups. The laser shooting camel, and all the other drivable weapons are insanely powerful, but watch out, you wont last long getting hit. But don’t let only 6 missions fool you. You can play arcade mode and mission mode, with 4 difficulty settings, 4 playable characters and the option of multiplayer makes this game an endless classic.

It’s hard to say anything bad about a game that is awesome on so many levels. The difficulty only makes it better for me and the re-play factor only weighs heavier with the addition of multiplayer. This games is hours of fun by yourself or with friends, and is a must have in any retro gamers Steam library. I mean, who wouldn’t love a game where one of the achievements is dying over 200 times?

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 7/10
Story: 4/10
Challenge: 9/10
Replay Value: 7/10

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