Showing posts from 2018

[Review] The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition - Nintendo Switch

The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition brings a light hearted zombie-horde style twin-stick shooter to the Nintendo Switch with absurd flair and lots of mutant veggies animated by crazy aliens. Yes, if you immediately thought of the Powerpuff Girls episode with the angry broccoli aliens, know that I did, too...and it's influence on this game shines very brightly, even if indirectly. If only there were a stupendous power up that allowed you to eat them to death, it could have been complete. While there are not overt Powerpuff Girl references, there are a lot of other nostalgiac game and media references to be found, which even includes a worn-VHS style warp line that loops through the screen as you play. This, along with screen shake and screen flash can be modified or turned off from the options, but it adds a nice little visual touch to the art style.

The Walking Vegetables seems to have been intended as a couch co-op shooter game in the same vein as Zombies Ate my Neighbors, a…

[Review] Trouserheart - Nintendo Switch

We have seen a lot of indie games utilizing the rogue-like and rogue-lite formulas to help flesh out their game worlds and improve replayability for a while now. It's pretty high up there with metroidvania at this point for percentage of overall games released, and it's gets a little tiresome at times when games just feel like another recycled idea. However, even amidst a slew of similar games, you do happen to find the gems that trickle out when building upon a basic template- particularly when those gems figure out a novel way to overcome some of the shortcomings, and then improve upon the feel in the process. Enter Trouserheart.

You see, Trouserheart takes the old school absurdity of classic video game nonsense plot lines (a sleeping king has his pants go missing in his sleep), and combines it with a tweaked rogue-lite system and familiar level design to bring us a fun, light-hearted romp with simple controls, catchy music, and unexpected twists. As I mentioned above, your…

[Review] Battle Group 2 - Nintendo Switch

Every so often you run across a game unlike anything that you've ever played before. As a result, you aren't always quite sure what to think of that, and I'm still trying to scratch my noggin through this one for Battle Group 2.

While it bills itself as an arcade, action, strategy title, I'm not really picking up on the action or strategy portion of this game. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun game...but I think that it is best described as an arcade on-rails shmup. Where most shoot 'em ups have you flying through space, usually back forth, left and right, up and down, and occasionally some dodging and rolling to weave in and out of enemy flight and attack patterns while ground units hurl projectiles at you, Battle Group 2 puts you in the position of turret gunner on a naval ship while the computer propels you forward. As enemies fly on screen and into your sights, you swing a cursor around screen and fire at them to destroy them before they plink away at your…

[Review] Hyper Light Drifter Special Edition - Nintendo Switch

Way back in the long ago of March of this year, it was revealed in a Nindies Showcase that Undertale was coming to the Nintendo Switch. Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that the Nintendo Switch would be supporting the game maker engine. The first game I thought of when learning this information was Hyper Light Drifter. I knew that the game would be perfect for the Switch's hybrid nature, since it's nice to recline on the couch and hack n' slash your way through the world, but 2d games just seem so much better suited to the handheld experience. Not only that, but Hyper Light Drifter is among the best known and well-received game maker games, so it seemed only natural that Heart Machine would want to bring Hyper Light Drifter to Nintendo's runaway hit console as soon as they possibly could. Fast forward to September, and us Nintendo Switch owners get not only Hyper Light Drifter, but a few exclusive bits of gear and a new mode!

To get the exclusives out of the way fi…

Ms. Splosion Man (Switch) Ramblin' Review

The Nintendo Switch has gotten it's fair share of games originally published on the Xbox Live Arcade, and Ms. Splosion Man brought all of it's absurdity to the party. As some of my more astute readers may have noticed, I went back to the ol' Ramblin' Review subtitle for this one, and with good reason. As with many of my other reviews, this will begin with a bit of a story. 
When I finally bought a secondhand XBox360 in October of 2009, auspiciously to play Mass Effect and its (then) upcoming sequel, I realized shortly thereafter that many of the AAA games available at the time were generally just too much time investment for games that weren't wholly unique or didn't contain a gripping story with a lot of deep character interaction. There seemed to have been much more emphasis on making games that looked good and created an easy transition to the online multiplayer that the developers were really trying to sell because of the greater potential to make money on…

[Review] SNK 40th Anniversary Collection - Nintendo Switch

Of all the venerable video game developers out there, SNK is probably the company whose earlier legacy is largely forgotten. Most often associated with The Neo-Geo line of consoles and their amazing lineup of 2d fighting games, it is nice to see a collection of the early years when SNK was primarily focused on making quality arcade titles covering a larger variety of genres. The SNK 40th Anniversary Collection starts off with thirteen titles, but closer to twenty games since it not only includes the arcade version of the games, but the console versions as well.

The initial lineup includes Alpha Mission, Athena, Crystalis, Ikari Warriors, Ikari III: The Rescue, Victory Road, Guerilla War, P.O.W., Prehistoric Isle, Psycho Soldier, Street Smart, Vanguard, and TNK-III (the console version is Iron Tank). I mention off the bat that this will be the initial lineup because there will eventually be eleven more games released as DLC on December 11. Nine of those will be included in a patch, and…

[Review] SkyScrappers - Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is known for it's currently amazing and ever-expanding library of multiplayer games. Ant Workshop brings us Ground Shatter's SkyScrappers, an arcade style platform fighting game. The game has a few different modes, allowing for local multiplayer and featuring a single player campaign. There are also two different ways to win- by eliminating all of your opponents, or making it to the top of the Skyscraper. You see, SkyScrapper's namesake and gimmick comes from it's setting- a recently demolished skyscrapper has been demolished, and you and a varying number of fighters are participating in a deadly game of ascending to the top of the falling building while fighting off your opponents. There are falling objects that can be used to bounce to a higher level, as well as hazards that can deplete your health bar.

Story mode finds you picking one of four fighters, and then fighting your way through different combinations of the other three while pursuing vi…

[Review] Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana - Nintendo Switch

The Ys games have an unfortunate legacy of being overshadowed by the colossi of the roleplaying genre. Fortunately for them, however, they have always been solid entries into the genre, and ever since they found their true footing in the Playstation 2 era, have definitely been steamrolling in popularity. At least, steamrolling by JRPG standards. Each subsequent release has been warmly welcomed and praised, but the majority have been on handhelds the last two generations (most notably on the PSP and Vita).

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is another such entry. It was originally designed for the Playstation Vita, then released later for the Playstation 4, PC, and now the Nintendo Switch. It is quite obvious from the game's graphics that it was developed for a lower powered system, but very rarely do these somewhat muddy graphics affect the gameplay. The draw distance isn't great, and the enemies will appear on screen at a fixed point, but instead of pacing back and forth, they are lo…

[Review] Flipping Death - Nintendo Switch

Flipping Death is the latest masterpiece from Zoink! Games, and a true return to form after the unique departure that was Fe. Upon entering the world of Flipping Death, we are treated to a humorous animated opening featuring that bizarre charm we have come to expect from the team at Zoink! where Penny, our heroine, is working in a funeral home, and "livening things up a bit". This gets her fired, and after an unfortunate car accident leads to Penny and her boyfriend taking shelter in a graveyard mausoleum for a makeout session, she falls through the floor and dies. Upon arriving in the after life, she encounters Death, who just needs a vacation. She is press ganged into taking over, and now must use her newfound powers and abilities to help put the spirits of Flatwood Peaks to rest.

The primary game mechanic at play in Flipping Death lends itself to the title- wherein you are Death, and you flip between the world of the dead and the world of the living. Penny is able to poss…

[Review] TETRA's Escape - Nintendo Switch

TETRA's Escape is the latest Ratalaika game to grace our beloved Nintendo Switch, and I love the hardworking team over at Ratalaika. The sheer depth of variety and experiences found in the existing Ratalaika Games library to be found on the Switch is impressive. TETRA's Escape is a puzzle platformer that takes on a very familiar mainstay of the puzzle genre- the four squared tetrominoes we all know and love, and puts them into a new and interesting situation.

We have a framing narrative that all of the tetrominoes have been transported to another dimension, and we need to save them! This is all well and good, but how does TETRA's Escape play out to be something aside from a Tetris knockoff while still using tetrominoes? Well, I'm glad you asked. We are tasked with using the various tetrominoes to create steps and bridges for our little tetra pieces to navigate around different levels to get from the start to the finish. Along the way we are given some star collectibles…

Super Mega Preview Roundup! With News!

So, I'm sure that you have all noticed that my content creation has quickly tapered off over the last couple of months. While a lot of this initially had to do with me simply spreading myself out too thin, writing for 5 additional websites in addition to my own, the rest has had to do with a number of factors.
The first of which is that I took on a second job, in addition to my full time job. On top of that, summer came, and I was spending most of my time not spent working or sleeping, with my family enjoying the outdoors and lovely weather. Of course, this meant that I was finding myself with less and less time to actually play all of these amazing games. Then, when work started slowing down and many camping trips were had, I finally had time to dive back into the games that I was responsible for covering on my own publication...and tragedy struck. Not just one, but both of our family cats got into something toxic in the neighborhood. This does not seem to have been anything inte…

[Review] Candle: The Power of the Flame - Nintendo Switch

In the beginning, the gods created light- and that light brought life. From that life, darkness sprang. The dark life forms used their will and cunning to dominate others, and the gods were not pleased. They extinguished the light of life with a purging fire, only to bring back the clean dark and start anew. They wished to make another attempt at life, with the hopes that this time, life would not use their malice to dominate others, again. Candle: The Power of the Flame begins with us possibly witnessing the beginning of this new end, and puts us into a world that is somewhat familiar, but just alien enough to keep it's placement in the timeline vague for story purposes. 
This beautiful world hand painted in pastels and watercolors, is full of lush vegetation and somewhat primal trappings. Maybe not ancient, but not yet in the modern ages. The magnificent voice work, beautiful art style, and beautiful music paint an amazing picture, and this is essential for the whole gameplay ex…

[Review] Super Destronaut DX - Nintendo Switch

Super Destronaut DX is the latest port from Ratalaika Games, and it brings with it a lot of old school arcade flavor.

At its most basic, Super Destronaut DX is a colorfully stylish update on the classic Space Invaders formula. For the five people out there that haven't played the arcade classic, there is an advancing horde of aliens on screen that move left or right, and then drop one line towards your gunner ship. You can only move your ship left or right, and are otherwise glued to the bottom of the screen. You shoot up towards the aliens, and occasionally you get shields to hide behind as they reign projectiles down upon you. It's an utterly simple formula, and the primary goal is to clear the screen of alien waves that become increasingly quicker and stronger as you go on. Take too many hits, and you die. Aliens get to the bottom of the screen? Game over.

Super Destronaut DX also offers a local multiplayer mode where you and a buddy can zap invaders together, simultaneousl…

[Review] West of Loathing - Nintendo Switch

As I previously mentioned in my Super Preview Roundup! from May, I have been looking forward to West of Loathing basically since it's announcement. It's release on the Nintendo Switch has finally enabled me to slaughter ghostly cows and grind skeleton bones on the go. So, was the excitement and wait worth it?

West of Loathing is based upon a browser based game that I had previously never heard of called "Kingdom of Loathing". It reached between 100,000 and 150,000 active players in 2008, and became profitable through donations and merchandising sales instead of utilizing a subscription service. The MMO spawned a kickstarter funded card game entitiled Mr. Card Game, and now we've been treated to the latest spinoff, a single-player role playing game full of the simplistic stick figure based artwork and surreal humor that fans of the series have come to expect. As a person that was previously ignorant of the series, I will say that the humor hits often, and feels c…

[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

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

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…