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Xbox One – Some Thoughts / Impressions From Launch Till March 3, 2014 (Today)

I wanted to write a quick synopsis regarding my experiences with my Xbox One that I bought  launch day. My thoughts add up to today March 3 2014. First off, I never hooked up Kinect & quite frankly I was never going to buy the thing until Microsoft changed the DRM policies and the ability to turn off Kinect. With that said, I played quite a few games including Forza 5, Dead Rising 3 (and it’s two expansions), Ryse: Son of Rome, Loco Cycle, Crimson Dragon & Killer Instinct. Xbox One’s first big hitter is releasing next week (Titanfall). I played the beta and have seen it…..it is real. Looking at Titanfall on video doesn’t give you the experience of playing it which is very fun. Microsoft does a great at supporting a console with new IPs in it’s first 2 or 3 years but after that what? We’ll see if the Xbox One doesn’t do a 360 at the last few years of the generation (I hope not).

As for the system itself it’s a monster, it’s pretty big. I don’t use much of the multimedia stuff although I have ign, machinema, anime & crackle apps installed. Sometimes I watch gameplay clips of my friends that they upload. I don’t use my Xbox One for TV (I might in the future) since I still view the thing as a videogame-only system which it isn’t so shame on me. The launch line-up IMO was better on the Xbox One compared directly to the PS4. Forza 5, Killer Instinct & Dead Rising 3 were all really really fun good games. The arcade titles were solid as well. Ryse: Son of Rome is the best looking Xbox One game so far. The micro-transactions need to go away from many of the games.

Xbox_One

As for the immediate future all I can say is Titanfall. I know a new Halo (or a new version of an old one) will release this year. I like Remedy’s new game. From what I learned a new Gears of War game is coming as well. Like I said Microsoft does a solid job in it’s console’s first few years when it comes to releasing games I want to play but what about the long run? The only thing that pisses me off at this point and maybe it’s the developer’s fault and not the hardware or the hardware is this gen’s cell is the lack of native 1080p games rather first party or multiplat. I’m hoping it’s just a case of devs not knowing the hardware much like the PS3′s early years we’ll see. Chances are I would probably like the Xbox One more if I hooked it up to my TV but shoot me because I am an old school gamer (a hard headed one to boot) regardless I like my Xbox One.

I guess my final comment should have to do with whether the Xbox One is worth it at $500.00? HELL NO! Even with Titanfall coming next week (which I love already) no way in hell you should spend that money on this system at this point. Hell, you’re actually spending over 600.00 easy when you add in one game and XBL Gold. Even with the TV inter connectivity it’s not worth it. Play Titanfall on your Xbox 360 and wait till Halo or Gears of War releases. That’s it thanks for reading – Jason

 


My Thoughts Overall On The Playstation 4 Up To 3-2-14

After spending four months playing a few games: Killzone: Shadowfall, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Need For Speed: Rivals, Outlast, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Knack & recently Thief 4 I have a few opinions about now & going forward with the system into 2014. Considering Infamous: Second Son comes out this month the immediate future looks pretty good for me.

Truthfully, some games looked and performed borderline amazing for a launch console like Killzone:SF but for the average person who is struggling out here in the real world should skip the launch and save that $500.00+. Considering games like Dark Souls II, Personna 5 will be coming for the PS3 & Titanfall for the Xbox 360 is reason enough to keep your old consoles. I am sure there are many other games that are worth your money releasing on last gen hardware besides those I just haven’t done my research.

As for technical performance in games many do run in 1080p native and quite a few do that at 60fps (but not many). I just finished Thief 4 which was 1080p native but ran like horseshit (hyperbole aside) when you cranked wheels to open gates or solve puzzles. I think that game just has an old ass engine and isn’t optimized for the PS4′s architecture. Asides from the latter most games looked and ran pretty damn well most notably Killzone 4. Battlefield 4 asides from the horrible online issues looks really good and performed at 60fps. NFS: Rivals looked pretty crisp as well. Knack for what it was ran smooth and looked ok for a “next gen” launch title. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is the best overall game I played on my Playstation 4 (just throwing that out there).

VGS PS4 Youtube Channel

As for the the PS4 itself I am not happy about paying for multiplayer this time around. As far as apps I don’t use many but the internet browser is pretty smooth. I use Crackle a bit and it works good as long as your internet connection is solid. Multiplayer is coming along slowly with updates like mic support for in-game/ party chat etc. Some games like Killzone: SF will get free DLC which is great. PSN did give me a few “free” great games such as Resogun, Outlast & Don’t Starve so the service is actually worth it IMO. The PS4′s userbase is decent, you could buy any multiplayer game and find people to play with. Live from Playstation meh, I see too many attention seekers on there. The sharing feature / DVR are solid tools.

As for the future, it’s bright. You know what type of games your gonna get on the Playstation 4. If you seen footage of The Order 1886 you know the console is a beast. Like I said earlier Infamous Second Son will be out in a few weeks to tide me over till E3. I expect big things software-wise at this years E3 2014 so that should be exciting. Out of the three “next” gen consoles I decided to make the Playstation 4 my multiplat console for it’s formidable technical power over the other two (not saying the XB1 is weak). So am I happy with my purchase? Sure. Is it worth it to a guy or gal to go out and spend over $500.00 who has a PS3 or Xbox 360? No. Wait till the end of this year and I’ll tell you to buy all three if you have the funds. Thanks for reading – Jason

Next Gen Is Here! Albeit I can’t Play The Game Just Yet (Call of Duty Ghosts) PS4

It’s funny but I honestly consider Call of Duty: Ghosts one of, if not the least “next gen” game available yet it’s the first next gen game I receive in the mail. At any rate, next gen is one week away if you’re in the US. I am hyped and you better be.

At least it's 1080p 60 FPS on PS4 IMG_0022IMG_0020

 

 

 

The Monastery – Review Xbox Live Indie Game Xbox 360

Published By: Juan Alberto Munoz, Developed By: Juan Alberto Munoz, Genre: Horror, Release Date: 5/10/2013, Rating: NA, Systems: Xbox 360 (Indie).

Presentation: The Monastery is a Xbox Live Indie Game based on horror & survival gameplay elements similar to games such as Amnesia: The Dark Decent. I decided to immediately compare this game to Amnesia for the fact they are both indie and you’re collecting important items while trying to avoid being caught / killed by an unstoppable evil. I’ll get more into the latter later but for now I’ll talk about The Monastery’s presentation. Upon start-up you’re greeted by atmospheric menu music that sorta sets the tone that this is one of those games that target atmosphere with it’s depressing menu music. The title screen has the following menu selections  Play, Help & Options, Scoreboards, Credits & More Games.

Image from the monastery

The creator of The Monastery also made XBLIG such as Avatar Karting 2 & Racedrome City. Controls are as follows: RS-look, LS-walk, RT-run & Start-pause that’s it! You have no inventory, no weapons, you cannot attack or do any puzzles in-game. The Monastery wants to take power away from the player by making you helpless which worked since I was running away from that demon a lot. Difficulties include: Easy, Normal & Hard and they are what they say pretty much in regards to gameplay. The Monastery’s presentation does present itself as a survival atmospheric first person video game albeit the world is static visually but the music does more than to make up for the lack luster visuals. Overall I say the presentation was decent.

Story: The story is this, you’re lost at night in a ruined monastery being chased by a demon with only your flashlight. How’s that for a story? Also, you’re looking for Bibles scattered throughout.

Visuals: The world is static with a nighttime setting with static grass, stone structures but the purplish dark cloudy night sky looked nice and depressing. The texture work on stone objects looked blurry and muddled. What I did like was the goat devil evil entity demon as he had good fluid animations (I noticed while running from it). The visuals do not detract from the game’s atmosphere I must say so they aren’t all that bad really.

Sound: The music is what hold The Monastery’s atmosphere together. From the beginning of the game at the title screen to the blind sprinting away from the demon the music adjusts accordinaly to the situation you’re in. The music kinda does the scare tactic thing in-game as it could be quite one second then a loud tone will fill the air sometimes when the demon rolls around or just random. It works cause it’s at night, quite and your walking around alone looking for items. Music and sound design was this game’s strongest point.

Image from the monastery

Gameplay: First person world where you must collect all 15 Bibles before the evil demon entity finds you. Honestly, it’s not as exciting as it reads. The atmosphere took a few minutes to settle in since I didn’t take the world/atmosphere seriously from the beginning. After some time has pass I did find myself getting into the game mentally and the world did take a hold of me from a gameplay and atmosphere standpoint, it was good. So yea, you’re alone at night collecting Bibles in a ruined dark monastery being hunted down by a horned devil goat demon entity. That about somes up the gameplay.

Replayability: There are different difficulty settings but I couldn’t find myself to play this game again after I completed it. It’s one of the games you really have to “get into” and soak up the atmosphere the first time you play it. Length wise the game isn’t that long but decent for a XBLIG.

Final Verdict: The Monastery does have a few weaknesses regarding some textures and map elements but if you’re looking for some horror and survival in your indie game’s diet give it a shot and for 80 msp your not losing much.

7.5/10

 

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Playstation 4 (PS4) Development Video

Jean Guesdon Creative Director & Sylvain Trottier Associate Producer explain in this video how the PS4 & Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag are a match made in heaven from a development standpoint. I’m not a technical game blogger as I have seen consoles and PC tech grow since the early 80′s. Nothing really excites me at this point but I do love amazing looking/gameplay in my games. I know the PS4 will be considered a beast console come release day and the games will look great for years to come. As for AC:4 I can’t wait to play as Haytham Kenway’s dad (Connor’s Grandfather) (who I killed in the beginning of Assassin’s Creed III in London Edward Kenway. Extra details and performance will be the reason I buy Assassin’s Creed IV for my PS4 since my PC hasn’t been upgraded in three years. I really like the seamless merging of ground and navel gameplay so I can drop in and out of either whenever I want. Navel battles were pretty fun and I know the dev team will add different dynamics in regards to gameplay to Black Flag’s navel battles. Just for the record I am also picking up a Xbox 720 along with a PS4, I really need to see something on May 21 regarding the X720. Assassin’s Creed Black Flag releases on the PC, PS3, PS4, X360, X720 & WiiU Oct 29, 2013. Thanks RajmanGamingHD for the video.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon – Review Playstation 3 PSN

Published By: Ubisoft, Developed By: Ubisoft Montreal, Genre: Action Adventure, Release Date: May 1, 2013, Rating: M, Systems: PC, Playstation 3 & Xbox 360.

 Presentation: Growing up as a child of the “80′s” I understood Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon’s humorous over the top antics fully. I personally caught dozens of “80′s” pop culture, gaming and musical puns. Don’t worry if you’re a baby (that’s a joke) you can still enjoy the fluid over the top gameplay and humor found in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon but it probably won’t hold a special place in your heart like it did for me. The 80′s run deep in Blood Dragon’s presentation through and through from it’s low rez 8-bit cutscenes, “Don’t Do Drugs” campaign narrative & VHS tracking loading screen between chapters this game oozes with 80′s nostalgia. If you loved Far Cry 3 like myself don’t worry Blood Dragon is very Far Cry 3 in terms of gameplay with a presentation that is over the top with more action.

You play Sergeant Rex Power Colt who is voiced by Michael Biehn (popular cult 80′s actor). Rex Power Colt is a half man half cyborg all 80′s one-liners badass. Unlike Jason Brody Rex Power Colt can drop from any height without taking damage. He can also breath underwater forever thanks to cyber lungs and run super fast forever. The latter makes trekking across the island faster. Just think if you played Far Cry 3 with a cyborg BAM! you have Blood Dragon. As for the map it’s much smaller than what’s in Far Cry 3 (it is a arcade game afterall), however that doesn’t change the fact there are many hours of fun to be had which I’ll get into later. To conclude the presentation you have over the top “80′s” presentation featuring neon colors, music and one liners, the game moves faster due to you being a cyborg and action is much more frequent. Only complaint I have with the presentation is that sometimes the dialogue repeats itself and get’s “thick”.

Story: Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon takes place in a alternate reality 2007 were a “apocalypse has had a apocalypse”. The world wrecked from nuclear wars led way to Omega Force evil cyborg army (chief antagonist enemy) led by Ike Sloan are trying to take over the world. Omega Force are trying to find a powerful secret bioweapon that would give them control over Earth but not if Sergeant Rex Power Colt can do anything about it. Rex Power Colt is a cyborg who came from the Toxic ashes of Vietnam War II. Rex has the world in his cyborg hand sort to speak.

Along the way Rex meets Dr. Elizabeth Darling who guides him through his adventure and becomes his romantic interest 80′s style. Lieutenant T.T “Spider” Brown is Rex’s partner and friend. Dr. Caryle is a mad scientist and a small antagonist character who has his own sub plot in Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon’s story. The story is pure cheese but entertaining. Do not take Blood Dragon’s story serious since it’s probably based off Robocop, Karate Kid, Krull, Commando, Terminator, No Retreat No Surrender, Rambo etc. It is what it is and it’s a fun story not a good story.

Visuals: I played Blood Dragon on my Playstation 3. The game in all intents and purposes looks like Far Cry 3 with a different color scheme. You have more neon colors and the game stays at night throughout the campaign so don’t expect any sun. The combination of the new color scheme coupled with the explosions and laser beams from Blood Dragon looks pretty good at times. Texture work look about the same from the main game. There were a few framerate issues and game freezes. The visuals are fine overall.

Sound: Much of the music found in Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is from 80′s cult movies. Much of the music sound like it came from Terminator, Scarface and No Retreat No Surrender. I really enjoyed the music since it’s stuff I grew up listening to. The sound design is all roars and lazer beams. The sound design fits the “80′s action and voice acting whichwas hilarious  Micheal Biehn really played is role well with Rex Power Colt (I was having 80′s flashbacks from Terminator and Aliens). The dialog did get repetitive at times.

Gameplay: The gameplay is just like Far Cry 3. To progress the story you complete main missions that are varied and fun in their own right. Instead of liberating Outposts like in Far Cry 3 you liberate Garrisons which are protected by force shields that you can disable which lets Blood Dragons inside. Liberating Garrisons unlocks useful items and helps you take control of island territory. Side Missions include Hostage Rescue which has you saving a nerd which rewards you with custom weapon upgrades you can purchase from the store at a Garrison. You also have Predator’s Path which is like what was in Far Cry 3 you just complete hunting missions for XP and money. Everything rewards you XP but there isn’t a upgrade tree like in Far Cry 3. When you level up you are automatically assigned upgrades for Rex Power Colt that you cannot choose.

The actual shooting feels really close to Far Cry 3 except with more speed and precision due to Rex’s cyborg strength. Weapons range from pistols, shotguns, crossbows (with a cool neon color) and the epic Krull Blade I mean “Killstar” that basically obliterates everything with a laser beam. You also get emp and regular grenades. Gunplay is fun and stealth is very effective with a bow. Vehicles such as jeeps & jet skis are scattered about. There is a hang glide sequence as well. Everything melds together gameplay-wise similar to Far Cry 3. Using your in-game health kits shows Rex welding his cyber hand to fix it as well other cool sequences. Blood Dragon’s gameplay is more fun and seamless since you do not have to unlock every little upgrade from the start.

Replayability: Running through the main missions only will give you maybe four good hours but this game is much more than that. Collectibles alone which include collecting TV Sets, VHS Tapes & Dr. Crayle’s Notes are scattered under water in caves at ruins etc. The awesome thing are the Easter Eggs that accompany collecting some of these items which makes wanting to collect them all the worthwhile. Liberating Garrisons and doing the Hostage Rescues & Predator’s Path missions can make Rex an unstoppable killing machine literally. Blood Dragon is a real live open world game that you can waste many many hours in and the second playthrough is just as fun as the first and for $15.00 it’s a damn steal even with no multiplayer.

Final Verdict: It’s epic “80′s” action back when men were men and there weren’t any internet…sorry for the flashback. Just buy it even if you never played Far Cry 3 or know the “80′s” you will appreciate this gem.

9/10

 

 

 

Video Games Source Partnered With “The Next Gamer” (TNG)

Yep that’s right Video Games Source has partnered with TNG aka The Next Gamer. The Next Gamer Network is a youtube partnering entity centered around everything gaming. I was recruited by TNG as they saw potential in my youtube channel. To make a long story short tngsheldon (recruiter) hooked me up with a contract via skype and the rest as they say, is history. What stood out to me in regards to TNG as a youtube partner is simple, they care. These guys are always on skype at potential partners & partners every beckoning call. Another reason I signed the contract with TNG was because they are a young youtube gaming partnering program, they started in March of 2012.

Video Games Source’s youtube channel isn’t even a year old but has over 1 million views so it was simple for me, I wanted to grow with TNG and make it the biggest gaming network on youtube. I signed my contract back on March 13 2013 and since then met a few TNG partners who I want you guys to check including LyveGamingNetwork & The Next Gamer Network’s Channel. If you’re interested in becoming a partner with The Next Gamer first check out the main site The Next Gamer Network to see if you qualify. I would recommend you check out the forums so you can see for yourself how the community is and what TNG & partners are up to. Also, check out TNGMortarman’s live TNG podcasts at 5pm Central Time USA. His twitter handle is xMORTARMAN.

Undead Empire: Hellfire – Review Xbox Live Indie Game XBLIG Xbox 360

Published By: BigRookGames, Developed By: BigRookGames, Genre: Shooter, Release Date: 2/13/2013, Rating: NA, Systems: Xbox 360, Price: 80 Msp.

 Presentation: Having already played Undead Empire I sorta knew what to expect this time around. Undead Empire: Hellfire is the immediate sequel to BigRookGames top down twin stick zombie shooter found on XBLIG. After playing so many of these twin stick zombie shooters over XBL I have to be frank, this game didn’t impress me at all from a “fresh” perspective.. Call it zombie fatigue, shooter fatigue, Xbox Live Indie Game fatigue whatever. Now don’t get me wrong Undead Empire: Hellfire IS a good twin stick indie shooter and I’ll detail my reasons later. For now, I want to target and single out this game’s presentation. Immediately I have to point out the vibrating, jittery zombies that sporadically bounce around. The latter is a clear technical issue, a bug perhaps? That being said the twitching enemies was the only technical complaint I could find.

As for the rest of Undead Empire: Hellfire’s presentataion its pretty good. You have content with its online & offline 4 player co-op and different gamemodes. You get to choose from plenty of characters who have their own unique Group Bonus abilities and weapon’s loadouts. The story isn’t great but exists and centers around a Mad Doctor named Dr. Hubert Von Scythe. Gameplay is smooth and fast. The visuals aren’t special but the art work by Pow Studios was good. Sound design was solid and music got me pumped up every time I began.  I’ll start with the title screen which featured menus of: New Game, Survival Mode, Xbox Live Global Scoreboard, Credits & Exit. One of the more impressive aspects of this game are clearly its controls. Twin Stick shooters need tight controls and Undead Empire: Hellfire delivers. Controls are very snappy and precise. Xbox 360 Gamepad: LS-move, RS-aim, X-shop, A-select, B-cancel, RT-shoot, LT-grenades, Start-pause, Back-start, RB-switch weapon & LB-switch weapon.

Story: Story centers around antagonist Dr. Hubert Von Scythe and his plans for world domination. Seriously there really isn’t a fleshed out story here but instead has text bubble scenes & characters that help drives the story.

Visuals: Pow Studios did a good job on Undead Empire: Hellfire’s art direction in regards to character design and whatnot. Overall the game isn’t good looking but instead features smooth gameplay and awesome blood spatter effects when you kill enemies. Textures, lighting and map designs weren’t impressive IMO. Then again what do you expect to see? The game is top down like Gauntlet (old school) so you really don’t focus on graphics as much as other aspects.

Sound: Title screen menu music was fast metal that really got me hyped to shoot zombies. In-game music featured special cutaway scenes and had atmospheric tunes that fit the situation accordingly. The sound of each gun was really impressive and had bite! So yea I was impressed by Undead Empire: Hellfire’s sound design and music.

Gameplay: If you like top down twin stick shooters that feature zombie destruction and co-op you will enjoy Undead Empire: Hellfire. What I liked about the gameplay was its layers of progression though shopping. Leroy is a merchant and between zombie waves he sells useful items such as weapons and health. Furthermore you can buy actual upgrades for specific guns. As waves become ever increasingly difficult its good to shop. Playable characters include: A. Corboni, L.Hryb, R. Chambers, E. Boon, S. Mikami, M. Branagh. Each character has their own identity and look including Group Bonuses. Group Bonus are perks such as High Health, High Damage, High Max Ammo etc etc. You can’t buy these Group Bonuses they come attached to one of the characters so pick whos best for your play style.

So how does the gameplay feel? It felt good. Shooting fat, skinny zombies and crows among other enemies felt tight. I had fun filling the screen up with blood splats and figuring out my next shopping strategy in between waves. Enemies do drop many useful items such as ammo, health and most important, money. Some maps I didn’t like due to the fact I kept getting pigeon holed in bottle neck areas where zombies can take your health bar down fast. However for the most part maps did have adequate space for up to 4 players. Weapons are all useful and have they’re strengths and weakness. Some weapons are great at distances and others for short range. Some weapons freeze enemies while others set them on fire.

Replayability: Replayability is Undead Empire: Hellfire’s greatest strength. You have 1-4 player local co-op and 2-4 online co-op which was a blast. Also take into account the Story and Survival gamemodes and you got yourself a twin stick zombie shooter with legs. In other words this game has content.

Final Verdict: I know I listed problems with glitches and bugs and whatnot. With that said Undead Empire: Hellfire is still a better game than its predecessor  You have great content and layered fun co-op gameplay. Its 80 msp. Buy it! Thanks for reading.

7.5/10

 

Zombie Square 2 – Review Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) Xbox 360

Published By: TheJKer, Developer: TheJKer, Genre: Shooter, Release Date: 2/11/2013, Rating: NA, Systems: Xbox 360.

 Presentation: I have played at least 100 different zombie themed games via Xbox Indie Game Marketplace (XBLIGM) over the past few years. Zombie games have run rampant on there and I quite frankly would keep playing them just to see if I find one thats simply different. I am happy to announce I found a real good zombie game that not only sets itself apart on XBLIGM but quite possibly set itself apart from main stream zombie games. Zombie Square 2 is a top down shooter with day/night cycles and features a minecraftesque artstyle. You can play this twin stick zombie shooter alone or up to 3 other players in offline action. As for Zombie Square 2′s overall presentation its about as good as it gets. However I’ll start with negative and that being the controls. Controls: LS-move, LB-abilities, RT-shoot, RB-grenades, RS-aim, Dpad-primary weapon, consumable equipment, secondary weapon, placeable equipment. Button positions are fine no issues there. The issues I had were with the aiming/shooting as it seemed too clunky and stiff.

So what impressed me with Zombie Square 2′s presentation? I’d say almost everything really. The game has content, it has a story somewhat, gameplay is paced great and the sound design is good. I’ll dig deeper into the latter later. Lets start at the top that being the Menu Screen: Story Mode: You can select levels as you join the Zombie Square Task Force and defend the town for 31 days. Survival Mode: Unlocks when you complete wave 15 of Story Mode and is basically an all out survival action gamemode. There are plenty of characters to choose from with each being unique with a background story as well weapon load outs  Characters: Kev Dogg, The Tenacious, The “Good Girl”, The Medic. Unlockable characters include: The Demo Man, The Engineer, The Pyro and The Mayer. Each character has their own identity. In Zombie Square 2 you can play the game how you want practically. Technically, I experienced no bugs or glitches during my playtime which can’t be said for many XBLIGs. Overall a solid presentation for Zombie Square 2.

Story: You are one of many protagonists who are hired by The Mayer of Zombie Square. After The Mayer hires you you are then a member of ZSTF or Zombie Square Task Force and your job is to kill zombies and make money during the process. The story mode features cutscenes and newspapers stat sheets that gives this little zombie game some life in regards to story. I saw effort in Zombie Square 2 unlike so many zombie games on XBLIGM.

Visuals: Think blocks! Characters look like something ripped out of Minecraft, Castle Miner, Castle Miner Z you get the picture? Not everything has the blocky aesthetic however as buildings & vehicles has there own unique art style. Blood splatters were gruesome. Atmosphere was present as the day to night sequences start. Particle effects and explosions effects could be better but keep in mind up to four players can/are on the screen and the game runs good.

Sound: I remember the metal menu tunes and roosters as the sun came up. Nah, the sound design was pretty good actually as you hear sounds that you’d hear at night along with zombie’s groans and “splat” sounds as the screen fills with blood. The sound design at times was calming and the metal ramps up the zombie killing sequences nicely.

Gameplay: Zombie Square 2 is a old school twin stick top down zombie shooter. I grew up playing these types of games in the arcades in the 80′s. Anyways what sets this game apart from other indie games is its content. First you can play this in co-op with 3 other players offline. Second there are stores that let you sorta custom taylor your gameplay style whether you want to be a healer, a engineer or a all out gunner soldier type. Stores are accessible after the sun comes up as you complete zombie waves. Stores include: Fatboy’s Grubbery: food and healing items, Chico’s Gas & Fireworks: here you can buy turrets & traps for zombies, Slims Gunshop: Buy Uzi’s, Flamethrowers, ammo etc & Double Thumb’s Up Car Lot: Buy SUV’s, Jeeps and Tanks (yes I said tanks).

You acquire money by killing zombies as waves progress so does your cash. What I like about the shopping sequences is that there is no time limit in between waves. When you’re done shopping just press the button and the sun goes down and chaos arises again. The atmosphere was really good. When its night and you’re killing zombies its action and chaos. When you shop its sunny and tranquil outside like its almost a relaxing atmosphere. Vehicles are the highlight of gameplay. You can either drive or have a gunner (co-op) shoot down zombies. Turrets were awesome if you play alone. Most guns did what they suppose to do shotguns are good up close & assault rifles good at distances etc. Overall the gameplay has layers and was a blast to play Zombie Square 2.

Replayability: Zombie Square 2 can give you a good solid day’s worth of action. The gameplay is layered and co-op is a blast locally. However just like most indie games this game won’t last you forever but you shouldn’t even expect that. I say the replayability is good for a top down zombie shooter. Lots of waves and they get challenging plus you have Survival Mode which can be played over and over if ya want.

Final Verdict: Zombie Square creates a deep co-op top down twin stick zombie wave shooter world rich with characters and oh yea and vehicles!! Its also a well made game technically. Buy it as its just damn 80 msp. Thanks for reading.

8/10

 

 

 

Labyrinth X – Review Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) Xbox 360

Published By: Team Shuriken, Developed By: Team Shuriken, Genre: Adventure, Release Date: 2/2/2013, Rating NA, Systems: Xbox 360.

 Presentation: Labyrinth X is another Button prompt sexual anime girl perv game by Indie developer Team Shuriken (that read bad). Nothing wrong with being a perv however is Labyrinth X any good as a video game? The short answer is yes and actually I enjoyed it much more than the static Temple of Dogolrak. What immediately grabbed me about this game compared to Team Shuriken’s previous game was the infusion of retro graphics which created more of a visceral gaming atmosphere. Labyrinth X isn’t a static press button here game. I mean, it is but the presentation presents a better formula in level design and navigating that makes Labyrinth X a good FPS dungeon crawler adventure game despite its linearity.

Yea yea you see pretty half naked anime girls whether you’re rescuing them or killing them. Cute anime woman isn’t my thing but I do know there is a obvious market on Xbox Live Indie Games for it. Why else would Team Shuriken keep making these games? These types of games are very popular on Xbox Live for a reason. Some other things regarding the presentation that stood out was the technical side. I experienced little slow down and no real noticeable bugs or glitches during my playthrough. Labyrinth X is a well put together video game.

Story: You’re the “Hero” (protagonist) who was sent to rescue beautiful anime woman and kill the Queen of Monsters (antagonist). Along the Hero’s adventure into the mystic labyrinth he meets a beautiful barbarian who helps him along his adventure. You meet anime woman who are Chefs who poison you and the Queen’s sister. You rescue beautiful anime girls as you conquer the Queen herself. Labyrinth X doesn’t have a enthralling story although it tries hard to. Truth is gamers are just buying this game to look at potentially naked anime chicks (goodluck with that).

Visuals: To me this is Team Shuriken’s best looking game. The retro 16-bit graphics was a huge change and for the better as you navigate dungeons etc. As you approach blocky figures the screen transitions into the famous anime girl art that Team Shuriken are famous for on XBLIG. The blend of retro graphics with the crisp anime style art makes this a pretty good-looking game.

Sound: Opening title screen music had a depressing mellow tone that intrigued me right from the start. As you play through the game the music has highs and lows that correspond accordingly to different scenes and situations which I liked. Good mood music added to Labyrinth X’s atmosphere. All in all I enjoyed the sound design.

Gameplay: Labyrith X is a button prompt first person adventure game similar to past Team Shuriken indie games. Button prompts are the core of the game’s gameplay but its more to it. You can solve puzzles like the face puzzle that releases a secret room to save a hostage. You can mingle with anime girls like the chef through button prompts (be careful that tasty turkey is a zombie head that poisons you). You navigate the labyrinth by pressing Y,B,X,A accordingly on the Xbox 360 gamepad. To me Labyrinth X is a dungeon crawler albeit a first person one with beautiful anime girls lurking around any corner. The puzzles can kill the Hero if you guess wrong so be mindful.

No need to fret however since Labyrinth X has a generous checkpoint system even though the game is pretty linear. As far as memorable sequences or boss battles there are none. This game is pretty static but does pull off an actual atmosphere. The premise of the entire playthrough is rescuing trapped labyrinth hostages and killing the Queen of Monsters which of neither were memorable. The fun for me came from exploring and dungeon crawling, figuring out puzzles. Overall I would say the gameplay is the best Team Shuriken has came up with to date. But all in all in the overall grand scheme of things I would give the gameplay a good to decent score.

Replayability: This game is too linear for multiple playthroughs. I see Labyrinth X as a one time experience that is pretty darn good for an XBLIG. Overall the game is pretty short like most Xbox Live Indie Games.

Final Verdict: This is Team Shuriken’s best and its name is Labyrinth X. I consider this sorta a perv game to be honest however outside that exterior is a pretty good dungeon crawler. Its 80 MSP so go buy it!! Thanks for reading.

7.5/10