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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Published By: t0my, Developed By: t0my, Genre: Shooter, Release Date: 2/1/2013, Rating: NA, Systems: Xbox 360.
Presentation: [engo] ENGO is a top down twin-stick arcade style shooter. I grew up playing games like Gauntlet in the arcades so [engo]‘s retro style felt right at home. As for the game’s presentation its actually quite solid for a Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG). Visuals are impressive as was the game’s frames per second performance. What i am trying to say is that for an XBLIG [engo] looks good and runs well. No noticeable bugs or glitches through my playthrough. Music and sound design was pretty well implemented as well. Menus included: Play, Help, Highscore, Credits & Exit. Controller Layout via the Xbox 360 is simple enough: LS-Move, RS-Fire & RT-Bonus. Controls felt “off” for some reason. The movement of the Mech Spider protagonist when using the Left-stick felt herky jerky and sticky at times. Don’t get me wrong the controls aren’t bad but should feel smoother when controlling the Spider Mech.
Story: No story whatsoever. Most Xbox Live Indie Games don’t have stories. Especially a top down twin stick shooter.
Visuals: What impressed me the most was the lighting and explosion effects in regards to graphics. [engo] ENGO for an XBLIG looks good and performs well. Robot designs and other effects like from flamethrowers and missile launchers looked really good as well. As far as art is concerned I wasn’t impressed.
Sound: Music had a retro sci-fi vibe which was really fitting since this game has robots and a tron style setting. Menu music was pretty good and got you ready to collect stars.
Gameplay: [engo] ENGO is a top down shooter where the goal is to collect stars and unlock new maps. There are 6 Arenas: Basement #1 #2, Warehouse #1 #2 & Laboratory #1 #2. Each Arena is unique as it manipulates gameplay by items & power-ups placement. There are 6 weapons available for your mech spider that all carry unique bonuses. Some items can harm your spider like land mines and laser traps. Bot controlled AIs are also a problem but can be destroyed with some good firepower. Early into my gameplay I actually didn’t like [engo] due to its clustered screen with traps and enemies The game seemed convoluted until I focused on star collecting and avoiding enemies and traps. There are warp stations scattered about each Arena that gives you some breathing room. Arenas aren’t that big but feature numerous traps and dangers. Overall I give the gameplay a good score.
Replayability: ENGO isn’t a super long game. You can play for a few hours, maybe more if you want to keep beating your high scores.
Final Verdict: [engo] ENGO is a good top down twin stick shooter due to its solid presentation in visual design. The gameplay is good as well as was its sound design. This game is a good change up from all the cash and grab zombie games that run rampit on XBLIG.
Published By: Nintendo, Developed By: Nintendo, Genre: Action, Release Date: Nov 18 2012, Rating E 10+, Systems: Wii U.
Presentation: Nintendo Land is a Nintendo theme park that brings players together to play a bunch of fun action mini-games (12 to be exact). Every game features Nintendo mascots and uses the Wii U gamepad in a variety of fun ways including using the touchscreen or holding the controller different angles. Personally I wasn’t the biggest fan going into Nintendo Land but due to the fact that it came bundled with my Deluxe Set I had to give it a shot. This is a first party Nintendo game and as you’d expect the presentation is almost perfect. Tight gameplay, controls, really good music and just all around atmosphere really sets Nintendo Land high in regards to presentation.
Story: No story. Not like it needs one since its filled with mini-games that all have their own small stories to tide you over with. Just don’t expect much.
Visuals: Decent visuals with better art design. Graphics in most games are very basic fair (not close to being “next gen”). The plaza does look unique with everyone’s Miis roaming about. Pikman Adventure might be the best looking game out of the bunch. Monita’s design was also artsy.
Sound: Now this impressed me. The music in every game was really good. Sound design was spot on too. It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting aliens or dancing with your Mii the sound design and music kept me into it!
Pikmin Adventures: I never played a Pikmin game (I know). Here you use a stylus to guide your Pikmin to attack and give other commands. This game was really fun and looked really good. There are boss fights and other goodies. You mostly look at the Wii U gamepad while playing this.
Metroid Blast: Metroid is one of my favorite video games of all time. Metroid Blast on Nintendo Land not so much. This game is just a simple shooter that you control Samus with the Gamepad. You shoot stuff and it was pretty meh.
The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest: I basically just shot monsters with arrows. This game wasn’t captivating.
Mario Chase: Now this game was pretty fun. You have to have a few players to play it and it consists of you chasing Mario or you having to avoid other drivers.
Luigi’s Ghost Mansion: This game is pretty fun. It reminds me of the old Gamecube launch title. You compete to hunt ghosts with flashlights. Its more fun than it reads.
Animal Crossing: Sweet Day: Another good party game. Here you can play as animals or gate keepers. I grabbed candy as a animal and hunted the animals as a gate keeper. Pretty good mini game.
Yoshi’s Fruit Cart: This game you use a stylus to guide Yoshi around traps to a escape door all while collecting fruit. This is a simple basic game but addictive.
Octopus Dance: You dance with your Mii in this game. You copy a figure move his arm legs and wiggle along with it. Not a good one didn’t like it too much.
Donkey Kong’s Crash Course: This is the most challenging Nintendo Land game thats also very addictive.
Takamaru’s Ninja Castle: Use the Wii U gamepad like a ninja star throwing machine. This game is fun as you cut down ninjas but my arm got tired lol.
Captain Falcon’s Twister Race: Good ole F-Zero fun here. this game uses the Wii U gamepad to navigate This game is most like the normal game of the same name out of all Nintendo Land mini-games.
Balloon Trip Breeze: 2D stylus wind balloon fun here. Weather change and you have to guide the hero over traps. This game looked good and played smoothly.
Replayability: Replayability is pretty high since each game has layer of difficulty and challenge. The community lets you meet and play games with other Nintendo Land gamers. You can earn tokens by playing games that unlock stuff in the main Plaza.
Final Verdict: I wasn’t big on Nintendo Land before I played it however I am now. This game is solid in its make and it delivers solid fun.