Author: Sandi Shaktar

Review: Rain World

The main premise of the game is to gather food, survive predators, and move forward throughout the world.
It can be very hard, and sometimes even frustrating if you don’t know what is going on at times. Which is what I will try to quell through this review.

The game starts off with a very nicely drawn cutscene that sets the basis of the story. Then it throws you into gameplay, explains a few basic things and leaves you to figure out the rest. Which sounds great to me, but I feel like 1 or 2 more important things needed to be taught. So in the first 30 minutes of my gameplay, I felt a bit frustrated trying to figure out what kind of game this is, but after that it was great.

As you explore the world, you need to feed yourself to fill your hunger meter. Once you’ve gotten to a certain point, you can then hibernate in a few specific locations. Upon doing this, you progress to the next day, and level up your character.

If you die, you will lose any progress you’ve made since the last time you hibernated. You will have to re-do the day and you will lose your level progress. The game can be quite difficult at times due to this, but it’s nothing keyboard-breaking worthy.

Most of the times, you will die to predators. They are quite clever for the most part. They follow you through small vents, up poles and can sometimes even cut you off from where you’re trying to go. It can be really scary, and the fact that the game most of the time has no music, but plays an intense percussion rhythm around enemies makes it even more intense.

The one other major threat in the game is rain. It basically plays the role of a timer in a day. You’ve got a set time to complete the day, once that runs out, rain will come pouring down from the sky and kill you. If you are underground, it will flood the place and drown you. Now this is really terrifying. The only way to survive it is by hibernating, so you need to gather your food fast throughout the day.

The movement and climbing is quite intuitive. You just use a jump button to get around, and move in the direction you want to. The pixel art looks really great, and the physics and animation look very fluent and work well together.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with the game. It’s very well made, and once you get over the initial bump of learning how it works, the difficulty can be very fun and rewarding!

Review: Brawlout

Brawlout is a fighting game similar to the Smash Bros series.
Instead of depleting your opponents’ health, your objective is to knock them out of the arena until they run out of lives, and you are the last one standing.
I haven’t played Smash Bros games too much, so I will mostly be reviewing this as a standalone game as opposed to comparing them.

As you get hit by your enemies, a little “percentage” bar will increase above you character’s picture at the bottom of the screen. The higher that number is, the harder, faster and further you will fly away when someone hits you. So as a fight goes on for longer, everyone will be closer and closer to falling off the ledge everytime. It can be very exciting and intense.

At the moment there is only a local and online multiplayer mode, which are definitely the most important ones. You can add bots into the game, and tweak their difficulties at 9 different levels. The devs have said they plan to release a singleplayer campaign, as well as challenge modes and a survival mode.

At the moment, there are only 6 characters, which feels a little bit lacking, but the devs have promised 3 more character releases before the game leaves Early access, and that they will continue to create more after the release.
The characters don’t feel incredibly different, but their moves vary enough.

Your controls allow you to jump and dodge. You have one basic attack button, and one “special” button. Depending on where you move your character when pressing the button, you will perform a different move, so there are more than just two attacks. Although I haven’t found any real combos. And if they’re there, the game lacks a tutorial to teach me.
I personally feel like the simplistic nature of the combat is actually good, as it isn’t overly complex, but some people might be turned off by it.

It’s also worth mentioning that your “special” button uses up a red meter that fills up throughout battle.

There are no items on the levels like there are in Smash Bros, which I personally think is a downside. Items scattered throughout levels add a bit of variety and spontaneousness in the fighting, and would be a welcome addition in my books. As long as you have the ability to turn them off for players that don’t want them.

Speaking of options, you can enable teams (even make them unbalanced like 3v1), and change game modes from one that ends when you run out of lives, to another that ends when the time runs out.

I wanted to say that I really love the aesthetic of the game. It looks great, colourful and the models of the characters look fun and unique. Although, I’m a bit disappointed by the skins. They feel a bit like uninspired colour palette swaps. Most fighting games do it like that so it’s a bit excusable, but I still don’t like most of them.

One gripe I have at the moment is that as soon as a match loads, it instantly allows everyone to fight. There’s no countdown or anything like that to allow you to prepare. So bots will usually get the first punch. Not a big deal since I’m sure it’s an easy fix, and pausing the game and then resuming starts a countdown, so it was probably something the devs missed by accident.

A bigger problem is, it seems to me you can’t play online with 4 players. I can’t find any sort of search settings. You just click search and it’ll place you in a 1v1 match. I can see that being a deal breaker for a lot of people. My only assumption would be is it is because the game runs off a peer to peer connection. Hopefully the devs add an option for that in the future!

Overall, I think people who have been longing for a game like this on PC will be happy to play this. Although to be honest, if you aren’t a very big fan of the genre, I can see the asking price being a big too steep. Other than that, it’s a solid game that feels mostly polished and fun!

Review: Tanzia

Tanzia is a game reminiscent of old-school RPGs and MMORPGs.
If you are a fan of those genres, you will more or less know what to expect here. Assigning items/spells to toolbars, NPCs that give you quests etc.

In my time playing the game so far, the quests have been incredibly interesting. Not boring, but nothing that stands out either. But I haven’t gotten too far into it yet.

The main driving factors for me have been the combat, and the story. The combat, although simplistic, feels very satisfying. It’s the typical click on an enemy, then choose what attack to use and it’ll basically seek them out and do damage. But the spells are nice to look at, and just feel really meaty. Especially when you see damage numbers popping up everywhere.

The second factor is the story. Although again, nothing revolutionary, it tells an interesting tale thats starts off in a small village. The lore is quite decently fleshed out, with small stories about forbidden magic, and mysterious characters that fought battles bravely.

The main thing that attracted me in the first place was the aesthetic. It’s nice and colourful, and you play as a character from a non-existent species. It isn’t some sort of animal, or elf creature. It’s just, what it is. It’s also cartoony as opposed to realistic. Obviously that’s all just personal preference, but I like this world and character design way more than most RPGs.

The music is really pleasant to listen to aswell!

The enemies and creatures are nice and varied. New ones are constantly being introduced to keep things fresh.

Overall, the game doesn’t honestly bring anything especially new to the table, but I don’t think it’s trying to. If you are into this genre, and like the look and sound of the world, then I think you will find a pleasant little experience here. It’s fun to play, and feels satisfying to slowly earn new loot/powers, talk to new people, explore new locations as you progress through the game. The game is mostly done by a solo dev that seems to be keen on working closely with the community for feedback as well, which is always a great sign.

Review: Interkosmos (VR)


You start off the game in a space shuttle, with a lengthy tutorial that will teach you what every single button and switch does. You might feel overwhelmed at first, but you will learn it as time goes on. And when you do, it will feel very satisfying. Hearing “your oxygen is low” and then your hand automatically snaps to the right lever to let in some oxygen, while at the same time depressurizing the cabin so you don’t die is a very cool feeling.

The graphics look great, by the way. It’s very immersive. Especially since you’re an astronaut, so you’ve got a big bulky helmet on. It perfectly excuses the feeling you have from wearing the VR headset.

The story is one of the best parts of the game. Because of that, I will not spoil anything. I will just tell you that it unravels slowly, and you learn new information as time goes on. Sometimes it will make you laugh, sometimes it will put you on edge. You can make small choices that impact the game slightly, but the gameplay will not really change much.

One thing that bothered me was, your hands aren’t positioned correctly. They are rotated 90 degrees the wrong way, and are too far away from you. It’s hard to explain, but you’ll feel that disconnect when you are actually in VR. It wasn’t too bad, and you get used to it after a while, but there were a few times where I struggled to press something because my fingers weren’t where I expected them to be. Hopefully it’s something the devs can easily fix in the future.

For 4.99$ Interkosmos delivers a lot for space junkies, and/or button nerds. I truly felt like I was in charge of my destiny in this tin can. I had some difficulty with my virtual hands switching on or off certain buttons/covers which made things more tense but a bit frustrating. Hopefully we will see some control tweaks.

I wish I had seen some ingame death sequences which would have added much more replayability other than a simple text explanation as to what I did wrong. I do wish this experience is expanded and polished up as it’s fun and addictive.

It’s quite a short experience, but man it’s such a good one. I beat it in about 1 hour, and although it doesn’t have much replay value, I would definitely recommend people try it out. I think it’s best to not know much about the story and just dive in. Recommended!

Review: Reflex Arena

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Reflex Arena is a competitive arena shooter where you will be entering matches on various level layouts, collecting weapons and powerups to help defeat your opponents, and playing different game modes.

Levels in reflex can vary greatly, whether it’s the layout or weapon and powerup spawn points. Other than the simple layout of levels with hallways and rooms, there are helpful devices that help you to get where you want, such as jump pads and portals. There can also be hazards present like lava, and even small openings in the walls or floor that let you shoot sneaky shots at people.

The selection of weapons isn’t very large and they are very simple to use, but they are still deadly. Weapon types include the melee weapon you always have, bullet weapons like the shotgun, explosive projectile weapons like the rocket and grenade launchers, and energy weapons like the plasmagun and railgun.

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Alongside the main game, there are also level and replay editors available. While the replay editor still needs a lot of work, the in-game level editor is very nice. Other than simply being a tool to let you create your own levels, you can instantly change from editor to play mode, allowing flawless testing of your maps. Creating levels is also a multiplayer activity, as creating levels happens on a server and multiple people can join, making the creation process much faster. After finishing a level, you can upload it to the Steam Workshop to let other players try out your map.

There are no AI controlled enemies as well as no ranked matchmaking as of yet, and because of the nature of arena shooters, you will most likely have a better experience watching the game than playing it. If you do want to play, it is best to play free for all or any team game modes, as the 1V1 mode is all up to you to kill your opponent.

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All game modes last until a certain amount of time or a certain score is attained, and at most you will be playing matches for 10-20 minutes.

Mastering movement, learning the layout of maps, and consistently hitting your opponents are all skills that you can master while playing the game. It is highly competitive and enjoyable if you are looking for a challenging FPS.

Reflex is a graphically plain game with mostly grey walls and single color objects. This of course allows the game to run extremely well and the only reason you wouldn’t be able to attain very high FPS is if you were to completely max every graphical setting or simply have a terrible computer.

he only music in the game is while you’re at the main menu, as the only thing you hear while playing or spectating a match is sound effects.

As it is an arena shooter, the controls are expected to be very precise and they are. The typical WASD fps control style is used and advanced movement techniques are in play, such as bunny hopping.

There is very little if any loading that happens while playing, as connecting to servers happen quickly.

The core mechanics of the game are essentially complete, while a bunch of extra enhancements are still in development. You can expect to see more game modes, matchmaking, better performance, better spectating tools, statistics, and more.

Star Wars Battlefront II may not have a season pass

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According to DICE, Star Wars Battlefront 2 may not have a DLC season pass.

Creative director Bernd Diemer told Mashable that the game will not have the season pass, and that EA is working on “something different” going on to that “I cannot talk about the specifics of this, but we have something different in mind that will allow you to play longer, be more invested in the game without having a fragmented community.”

The last instalment of the revitalised series that was released in 2015 to costs which ran up to £95 ($120) with all the different editions, except for the standard edition which cost £50 ($60), coming with the season pass which allowed people to save money on the £12 ($15) map packs that were released sporadically throughout the first year of its release. This created a problem as players found themselves finding matches difficult if they did not have the DLC, this being a problem as the game was mainly online only.

However, Mashable went on to write that EA themselves told them to withhold the information about the no season pass that Mr Diemer alluded to in his interview with Mashable because they “couldn’t definitively say whether that would be the case, despite what Diemer said and expounded upon.”

Mashable published the statement that was sent over to them in regards to the issue, saying that

While we’re not ready to confirm any live service plans just yet, what we can say is we heard the feedback from our Battlefront community loud and clear. We know they want more depth, more progression, and more content. So we’re focused on delivering that in every dimension of Star Wars Battlefront II. We’ll have more to share about our plans soon.

The release trailer for the game shows that the game will contain a single-player campaign, a game mode which was widely desired by fans. EA and DICE have addressed this complaint with the inclusion of single player, only time will tell whether the season pass will be scrapped when the game is released.

The game is scheduled for release on November 17 2017.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX Out Now in NA

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Square Enix and Disney are celebrating 15 years of magical Kingdom Hearts adventures with today’s release of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. The new HD collection is the first time six chapters from the beloved series will be available for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system.

In Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, fans will join Sora, Donald, Goofy and other familiar Disney characters as they voyage through Disney worlds to stop the Heartless invasion and save the Kingdom Hearts universe from darkness. Keyblade wielders will befriend and enlist beloved Disney and Final Fantasy characters to help light overcome the darkness.

A new trailer showcasing the timeless characters, unforgettable villains and the colorful Disney worlds was released today. The “Familiar Faces and Places” trailer is available on YouTube.

The compilation includes the following games:

• Kingdom Hearts FINAL MIX
• Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
• Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (HD Remastered Cinematics)
• Kingdom Hearts II FINAL MIX
• Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final MIX
• Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (HD Remastered Cinematics)

As a refresher, a new story focused trailer was also released, where fans new and old can follow the adventure of Sora as he battles darkness with the power of friendship.

Fans can prepare for the highly anticipated release of Kingdom Hearts III by experiencing the entire series with Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX and the recently released Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue on the PlayStation 4 system. Fans can also uncover the mysteries on how the series began with the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts Union χ [Cross] for iOS and Android devices. Kingdom Hearts Union χ [Cross] is the relaunch of the critically acclaimed mobile RPG formerly known as Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ.