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Showing posts from 2018

[Review] Miles and Kilo - Nintendo Switch

Miles and Kilo is Four Horses' follow up to endless runner Kid Tripp. As I've noted in my other reviews of sequels, it is usually expected that when a developer makes a new entry in a series, that they show off what they've learned from the previous game by making improvements, and Miles and Kilo is a great example of a sequel done right.

Instead of just sticking with the excellent level resigned crafted around the game's mechanics (which are still present), they upped the ante by giving Miles and Kilo the ability to have full control in levels where you're just Miles. The Kilo levels are still auto-runs, but they mix it up between the levels at a pretty nice pace and variance to keep things fresh and not make the game too frustrating for those that don't enjoy endless runners.  As you progress through each level, you will fail, but it is a fair learning experience that you must overcome to conquer the level in one go.

Miles and Kilo was designed with speed run…

[Review] Garage - Nintendo Switch

As I've said before in previous reviews of Tiny Build games, it seems as though they are dong their best to leave a mark on the Nintendo Switch by providing a slew of original games in their wake, and Garage is no exception. On its surface, Garage appears to be a twin stick shooter with survival horror elements, but once you peel back the layers, it's a very serviceable old school overhead shooter more in the vein of Loaded or Grand Theft Auto with a much heavier influence from the survival horror genre than just a few elements.

To start off with, we have our story. You're a drug dealer that has found himself in the trunk of a car, and upon escaping you quickly discover that something has gone awry. As is usual in the survival horror genre, you're confronted with horrifyingly twisted and super aggressive mutants out for blood, and it's up to you to fight your way through the multilevel parking garage utilizing limited ammo and weapons while backtracking to find th…

[Review] Earthlock - Nintendo Switch

Earthlock is a Kickstarter-backed turn based RPG looking to draw it's primary inspiration from 32-bit Squaresoft RPGs. It started off with a rocky start when released on other consoles and PC, under the title Earthlock: Festival of Magic. It had dialog that didn't make much sense, some incomplete side quests, and a few other gaffes. As a pseudo- apology, developer Snowcastle Games made this definitive "should have been" edition to release fresh on the Switch, and to make it available, for free, to anyone that purchased and played the game for the other platforms. Did they succeed in making the game they should have to begin with?

In short, yes. While I can't speak much on how the original iteration of the game turned out, having never played it, I can definitely say that the latest, updated version now widely available seems to be the superior version. Everything seems to fit into a specific place, and it shines with polish. While I wouldn't go so far as to …

[Review] Punch Club - Nintendo Switch

Ever since tinyBuild announced their support of the Nintendo Switch, they've been bringing a lot of unique and original ideas to Nintendo fans that may not have taken the opportunity to play their games before, and Punch Club is another in the ever growing library that combines a few interesting elements into a satisfying experience.

Punch Club is, essentially, a life sim where you take on the role of an aspiring boxer. You have to talk to trainers, add new moves to your repertoire, exercise, eat, and find employment to earn an income to pay for all of it.

Initially, I wasn't quite sure what to think of the game, as I wrongfully assumed that I was going to be playing a boxing gym simulator. While it is partially that, having the focus on one specific boxer makes for a deeper experience. As I mentioned above, you have to eat, work, train, and of course, fight.  This entails traveling around the city, chatting up the right people, buying groceries, eating meals when you get too…

[Review] Milanoir - Nintendo Switch

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Milanoir is a seventies inspired mafia shooters that leans heavily on the sights, sounds, and tropes of the era. While rendered in pixels, the sprite based art conveys grimey seventies crime movie incredibly well. Does that atmosphere hold up with the gameplay?


First of all, Milanoir has very heavy adult themes. As you could guess based on the title, it is based on crime movies, and takes place in seventies Milan, Italy. Instead of playing as a grizzled detective, as is usually the case in many noir- inspired games, you are a hitman for the mafia, and as such you'll be doing a lot of killing. While there are some more stealthy moments to be found, usually you'll be running or driving around mowing down rival organized crime types as you work your way through the story. Our game begins with a failed attempt on your life, and you pay back this attempt in kind by shooting the would be assassin and stealing his cool sunglasses. After that, you make your way back to your boss, who…

[Review] Happy Birthdays - Nintendo Switch

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Happy Birthdays is an updated version of Birthdays, the Beginning, which released last year for PS4 and PC. In Happy Birthdays, you take on the role of a god. You stumble into a cave and find a strange cube and a little voice asking you for your help with creating life on this cube world. This is a strange request, but how often do you get the opportunity to play god?

Unfortunately, being a god isn't the most interesting thing in the many worlds, but it is oddly satisfying. Your primary objective is to take a newly birthed cube planet, and manipulate the weather, humidity, flora, and fauna using poorly explained controls and skills to foster the successful evolution of modern humans. You have a checklist of different species that you can choose to bring into reality beyond that, but they are completely optional. The initial tutorial doesn't do a great job of explaining how you play the game, but it also prompts you with relevant information as you play through the game.


The p…

Super preview roundup!

Inksplosion (Nintendo Switch)

Inksplosion is one of the more recent ports from Ratalaika games. It has found it's way from Steam over to the home consoles. I received a review copy of the game and so far I have only made it past the first three screens(levels? Fights?). As such, it's really difficult to write an honest review of the game. I can definitely provide my impression of the game, and that's kind of what this article is about.
Inksplosion is a twin stick shooter of sorts. Unfortunately, this isn't immediately evident from the start. In fact, nothing is obvious or intuitive about the game at all. I probably died at least half a dozen times before I realized which on screen sprite represented me(it's the skull from the icon, which seems all too obvious in hindsight), and another half a dozen before I was able to confirm which button was for shooting. Even after that it took me a few more tries before I was able to figure out what I was supposed to be doing, …

[Review] Sumer - Nintendo Switch

Sumer for Nintendo Switch has been out for a little while now, and I've put a lot of time into it between solo play against the crafty AI and various groups of players mostly made up by my children and their usually reluctant (at first) friends. Sometimes I would just sit back and watch them all duke it out for the favor of the Sumerian goddess, Inanna. You play as a nobleman in ancient Sumer, and the obiect is to send out your workers to gather resources which you will be using to pay tribute to the aforementioned goddess, with the ultimate goal of proving your worth as a suitor to rule the land at Inanna's side by paying the most tribute.

Sumer is touted as a board game come video game, and the two ideas go well together here. While most board games to video game conversions just show you a virtual version of the board and add in some music, sound effects and animations to spice things up a bit, here we find the ability to platform around the board itself. It's one part…

[Review] Saturday Morning RPG - Nintendo Switch

Saturday Morning RPG has come to the Nintendo Switch, and it has found a very welcome home for me. You see, when the game was getting it's firs physical release on the PlayStation Vita, I missed out on buying it from Limited Run Gamed, but ended up purchasing it through the store on PSN. It just looked like a fun game to play, and I wasn't going to deny myself the opportunity to play just because I missed out on the physical release. I started to play it shortly after finishing Ys Memories of Celceta as somewhat of a palate cleanser before moving on to the epic saga that was Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel. Unfortunately, this was all happening for me around the time that the Nintendo Switch was launching, and I ended up putting my Vita aside to enjoy my new toy.

Fast forward a little over a year, and it was announced that Saturday Morning RPG was coming to the Switch, and Josh from Limited Run Games was handing out review codes on Twitter. After being tagged in the twe…

[Review] Cast of the Seven Godsends - Nintendo Switch

Cast of the Seven Godsends is a truly retro inspired action platformer with a lot more emphasis placed on the action than the platforming. It often reminded me of Ghouls N' Ghosts, not the least because of its challenges level of difficulty. Thankfully, there are no underwear only indications of low health to be found.

The game totes itself as a return to classic arcade run and guns, but I associate that term more closely with Contra and Metal Slug. While there is plenty of running and shooting of projectiles across the various weapons, it is very much an homage to Ghouls N' Ghosts. Granted, the difficulty in Cast of the Seven Godsends isn't found in the routine enemies, but the bosses and minibosses scattered throughout the four worlds. Unfortunately, there is a similar difficulty found in the limited amount of hits that you can take before death. I also never really doing myself having too much fun.

The game offers little variety in the level design, and the bosses are …

[First Impressions] Earthlock - Nintendo Switch

This has actually been a long time coming. I first received my code for Earthlock a few days before release, and I immediately jumped right into it. Then I got buried under a ton of other codes for my site and others, particularly those that commanded all of my time and were on much tighter deadlines. I spent most of March and April beginning work on my YouTube channel and establishing myself as a freelance writer for a couple of new sites, and I wanted to show that I could play some games and get content out there in a timely manner. I've since spent a couple of play sessions pecking away at Earthlock, and really wanted to experience everything that it had to offer before diving deep into it. I have an upcoming video for my channel where I will briefly discuss the fascinating history behind this game and expand a little bit about what I've experienced so far.

Needless to say, Earthlock started off as a Kickstarter project that sought to capture the magic of PlayStation era 3d…

[Review] Deep Ones - Nintendo Switch

Deep Ones is a nails hard action platformer by Sometimes You recently released for the Nintendo Switch. It takes the interesting art style decision to be based upon old ZX Spectrum games. 

The basic premise is that you are a deep sea diver whose submarine has been destroyed by a red octopus, and you must make your way through its territory to recover your ship pieces and upgrades to power yourself up to make your going a little easier. The limited color palette against the black backdrop makes for good atmosphere and original graphics for a modern indie offering, but it really makes the game suffer because of the limited range of visibility.  Too often you will fall victim to leaps of faith that result in cheap pit deaths, and it is very difficult to gauge your distance from certain enemies to avoid their expansion or projectiles. Couple this with the muddy response from your inputs, and you find tourself torn between awe over the game making you feel like you're fighting against…

[Review] Devious Dungeon - Nintendo Switch

Devious Dungeon is the latest addition to the Nintendo Switch eShop library from Ratalaika Games. They've been known for their very prolific contributions to the ever-expanding library of quality of indie games for the platform, and Devious Dungeon is a fun 2D, pixel art rogue-like platforming dungeon crawler with light RPG elements.

In Devious Dungeon, you will fight your way through randomly generated levels, smashing stuff for coins, killing monsters for experience and coins, all the while trying to find the key that unlocks the portal to the next dungeon. After collecting enough experience, you will level up, and be given the choice between increasing one of three stats- strength for damage, dexterity for critical hits, and vitality for HP. Every three levels, and in between failures, you'll be given the option to use your coin to buy better weapons, armor, and accessories. Each of these is an incremental improvement over your last piece of gear, and to unlock the next mo…

[Review] The Long Reach - Nintendo Switch

The Long Reach for Nintendo Switch is a 2D, point and click adventure horror game with loads of atmosphere, but some frustrating quirks.

We are introduced into a world where a research project has gone horribly awry, and awaken as an amnesiac guinea pig that quickly discovers the horrors that have commenced while unconscious. This sentence could have been written to introduce a great many number of horror games, but outside of this very familiar premise, The Long Reach strays more towards building an atmosphere of unease and sanity-doubting occurrences than relying on cheap jump scares. There is still blood, bodies, and a homicidal maniac on the run, but The Long Reach leans much more heavily on finding items that you will need to solve the game's puzzles.
To avoid spoilers, I'll only be talking about one of the first pseudo-puzzles that you'll run across, and how the game's quirks play into that.
In your first encounter with the psycopathic maniac, you will need to r…

Weekly Roundup - April 8th, 2018

Time for another weekly round up and update. I've been busy planning new content for the YouTube channel (Soda's Fountain Arcade), including accessory reviews, my thoughts and hopes for Smash Bros. For Nintendo Switch, a first impressions vid, and a channel introduction video. I just recorded a guest spot on a podcast, and have joined The Gaming Boulevard to write reviews. 
Reviews
Lode Runner Legacy at Gaming Boulevard Castle of Heart at The Switch Effect Hollow Metropolis Lux Obscura Tesla vs. Lovecraft

[Review] Hollow - Nintendo Switch

Hollow for Nintendo Switch is first person survival horror title with too much horror in the wrong aspects, and not enough where it counts. While it is understandable that some sacrifices had to be made to make the game playable on the Nintendo Switch's somewhat limited hardware when compared to the PC release, this doesn't go very far when you consider how well companies have done on the Nintendo Switch with more demanding games and richer storylines. This actually ended up being a bit of a painful experience for me because it has been one of my most anticipated games for the platform since it was announced, and I even considered that I might be a little more harsh based on that disappointment, but many of my complaints have been echoed elsewhere.

To start off, Hollow throws us into the world of Shakhter-One, a mining vessel that you're on for forgotten reasons with a protagonist that isn't very relatable. You board the ship and discover that it is apparently abandon…

[Review] Metropolis: Lux Obscura - Nintendo Switch

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Metropolis Lux Obscura for Nintendo Switch is a mashup of visual novel style games with an interesting gray scale comic book style reminiscent of Sin City, matched up with a match three puzzle game for combat. It's an interesting idea for a game, and the core game itself is well executed...for the most part.


However, the most interesting content can be found in the gory violence found in the story, and the full-on nudity and other sexual situations on display. The premise is that you are a falsely accused cog in an organized crime family, and you're just getting out of jail for the murder of a man that was sleeping with your ex. Your goal in the game is to track down the real killer, and you take on jobs along the way to earn money and find clues. You reluctantly accept the jobs given to you by the local mob boss, and of course you end up in way over head. This type of gritty story telling full of adult themes is a strong indicator that we are dealing with a new Nintendo when…

[Review] Tesla vs. Lovecraft - Nintendo Switch

Over the last few months, 10tons has made a concerted effort to bring most of their games over to the Nintendo Switch. While not all of their games are for everyone, it is quite the solid mini library of games, and this is no different with their latest release, Tesla vs. Lovecraft for Nintendo Switch.  The only downside to this is that now we have to wait for them to develop a new game before getting to play such well-crafted games that are optimized well for the hardware.

Tesla vs. Lovecraft is another intense and extremely fun twin stick shooter from the same developers that brought us Crimsonland, Jydge, and Time Recoil. The premise here is that you play as Nikola Tesla in a battle to the death against H.P. Lovecraft's ancient and powerful old ones and their minions of the Cthulu mythos. Each location you visit will have some relationship to both real life and fictional locations related to each historical figure, and you will make your way across three planes of existence. I…

[Review] Dragon Sinker - Nintendo Switch

Have you been needing a simple RPG with pixel-art to satisfy your itch for an old-school style adventure? Look no further than KEMCO and Exe Create Inc.'s latest offering, Dragon Sinker for Nintendo Switch. I've previously covered their previous RPG offerings for the Nintendo Switch, Antiquia Lost and Revenant Saga. Dragon Sinker has quickly become my favorite of these three.

When I play a role playing game, the thing that I love most about them is the sense of working my way through an engaging story while customizing my interesting, and hopefully, relatable characters. I will often overlook gameplay mechanics that I don't enjoy for the sake of completing the story. Thankfully, I enjoy the streamlined gameplay mechanics present in Dragon Sinker. They are incredibly simple, but warmly familiar. The most innovative aspect of the game is the ability to swap between different parties during battle. Each party will be led by a different hero, and this is the only person in ea…

[Review] Clustertruck - Nintendo Switch

Clustertruck for Nintendo Switch is the latest release from publisher tiny build, and unsurprisingly, it is a very unique game. After having played The Final Station (The Final Station for Nintendo Switch at Miketendo 64), an now Clustertruck, I'm convinced that tiny build is on a mission to release as many niche and original style games as possible. As a result, I'm really looking forward to their future releases.

Clustertruck is hard to categorize, but I think that it's best to describe it as an action physics based puzzle platformer. Your goal is to navigate a series of speeding trucks from the start to the finish line while avoiding dropping to the ground. The premise is absolutely absurd, and the execution is amazing. You have a limited set of skills at your disposal, at first- you can sprint, jump, and little else. The key to success can be achieved through two different styles of play. You can choose to sprint and jump from one truck to the other, using the momentu…

[Review] Revenant Saga - Nintendo Switch (Archive)

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Ricky J Hamilton
KEMCO has been around since the early days of the NES, and for the last couple of years, we've mainly associated them with streamlined, 16 bit style RPGs. Now, they're offering up their first game to Nintendo Switch, and they've chosen the intriguing Revenant Saga to be their standard bearer. This was a wise choice. Of the half dozen role playing games that I've played from KEMCO, this entry has the earliest “gotcha” moment yet, and that is a very important factor to have in a nostalgiac style of role playing game. What is a “gotcha” moment? It's the precise moment at which the game plants it's hooks firmly inside your brain and refuses to let go. We start off with a fairly standard trope- an antagonist orphaned by the deadly war/disease that has been spreading amongst the villages and leaving destruction in it's wake. In this case, we have a deadly plague. One that is so virulent, that those whom came in contact with the afflicted are aske…

[Review] Nightmare Boy - Nintendo Switch (Archive)

In lieu of the developer releasing a patch for pro controller support, I'm reprinting my review from Switch Score*, with an update** below for the patch addressing the issues that I experienced when reviewing the game.
Nightmare Boy is the latest Metroidvania released for the Nintendo Switch. It borrows a horror theme from the venerable Castlevania series, but presents this horrific nightmare world in a fairy tale manner. You begin the game as a sweet little boy named Billy. Upon going to bed, your pillow comes to life and attacks you, using its magic to transport you into a slumber you're unable to wake up from, and transforming you to Prince Rolok. This appears to be an effort by the pillow/wizard to gain the affections of the Queen?


(gameplay) Nightmare Boy is an action platformer where you traverse a labyrinthine world populated by cartoon monsters. Along the way, you will encounter obstacles which cannot be surpassed until you obtain the appropriate upgrade. You obtain thes…