Games The Polly Completed in 2014!
In the 2014 let's all play more gamesoft!
In the 2014 let's all play more gamesoft!
There's not much more one can say about Gunman Clive other than that it's a fairly simple, two-button arcade-length action platformer with a fun little western presentation. There's a pretty good variety in terms of enemy designs, stage gimmicks and layouts, and boss enemies, and a decent selection of randomly dropped gun power-ups from enemies to mix things up here and there. Replay value lies solely in the Steam Achievements and personal satisfaction if that's your thing, and are aimed more toward hardcore goals such as finishing stages under par-times, without dying, and under certain circumstances which can only be unlocked by completing the game once.
What Gunman Clive presents is utterly simple, but it's executed well enough to bet that you'll have a pretty good time with it if you're into older-school games like Contra and Mega Man. You could really do a lot worse for the couple bucks this one's going for.
If you weren't the biggest fan of the original RUNNER's harsh difficulty swings, lack of checkpointing, and sometimes confusing visuals but actually thought the concept was pretty neat and fun, then I'd highly suggest giving RUNNER2 a go. Everything about RUNNER2's gameplay feels as if it was developed in direct response to criticisms of the first game and is definitely more approachable and polished than before. If you just straight up didn't like the original game however, this one isn't going to change your mind.
The setup is largely the same with the only chief differences being the spiffy and colorful new aesthetic and changes that make the game a bit easier to handle. If you were a fan of the original's retro visual style, you'll likely be disappointed with the more distinct cartoony look and sound of RUNNER2, but if you were a fan of the gameplay, you're still in for a treat.
The biggest and most requested change is that there are now optional mid-stage checkpoints, which can make learning stages a bit easier. It's up to you whether you want a score bonus or a safety net, so there's a nice little element of risk vs reward here. The difficulty curve is straight up perfect this time around, with really nice ramp ups in challenge where they need to be with some easier stages sprinkled throughout to keep the bloodpressure down. Stages feel more like complete songs now, each with a really nice build up and repetition of patterns and mechanics with really nice flourishes at the end.
RUNNER2 is also a much bigger game than the original, containing 125 stages (100 normal stages and 25 hidden retro warp zones), multiple characters to play as, tons of unlockable costumes, and some Super Mario World'ey alternate exits toat can open up different paths in each world. I certainly found a lot of enjoymen in wanting to unlock everything, but you don't really need that mentality to enjoy what the game has to offer.
Overall, RUNNER2 is simply a better game in every respect. The new visual designs may turn off some fans, but they don't affect the core gameplay which is still solid as hell.
Full Spelunky HD review below:
If you're too lazy for that then, Spelunky is a great game. One you're going to wanna come to terms with. You won't beat it your first try, or maybe even your 300th, but the more you poke and prod at the system, the more you learn to operate within its unique rule set, and the more you learn to balance patience with calculated risk, the bigger the payoff will be once you've finally completed it.
Being a comedy videogame is rough. Not only are you subject to every single individual playing your game's unique sense of humor, but there's also the fact that not a lot of videogames are very funny.
Jazzpunk is pretty funny. From the get-go, it fires off visual gags, humorous audio, and strange dialog and rarely ever lets up. With the frenzied pace, the game could have easily spread itself too thin, but almost all the material in the game is executed very well. Sometimes far too well. Sometimes a completely innocent and almost throw-away joke will spiral out into a complete mini-game of its own. I'm hesitant to spoil anything simply because I feel the jokes and random asides in the game should be witnessed first hand, but I will say that it'll be hard to think of wedding cakes the same way again.
The game thrives on the absurd and your willingness to poke around each world to find that absurdity. If you just rush through each stage's set objective, you'll be missing the point, and all the fun entirely. The Achievements List is a fantastic way to get as much as you can out of Jazzpunk as it encourages that kind of exploration over simple "progress" based objectives.
If you enjoyed last year's The Stanley Parable, then Jazzpunk is most definitely for you. If absurdist humor, dark comedy, and anti-humor aren't your thing, it may be best to pass this one by.
If you want to play yourself a hella-NES game, then I'd highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy of JoyMasher's Oniken, because believe me, it's a hella-NES game.
Oniken's reproduction of a retro style goes far beyond its pixelated visuals or its rockin' chiptune soundtrack. It mines the depths of those special things that made games like Contra, Power Blade, and Ninja Gaiden so good. Oniken doesn't just LOOK like the era it's trying to recreate, it feels like it too. Maddening difficulty set on top of a set of simple mechanics and insidious level layouts that will take you more than just a few tries to slash your way through. On top of that, the game packs in lots of fantastic bosses, hugely varied stages, and some very clever throwbacks to the game that inspired it.
While Oniken is definitely a fantastic retro-styled game, it manages to go beyond that by being a pretty damn great action game on top of that.
http://bossdungeon.com/review-strider/ - Full review.
Strider is a game that gets off on the right foot in a lot of cool ways. Fantastic controls, high-speed hacking and slashing, and some satisfying boss fights. Unfortunately, it never quite lives up to the promise or standards set by those first couple of hours.
Action quickly becomes bland and not very engaging, and enemy variety is severely limited, save for the tiny smattering of larger robotic enemies that are thrown in from time to time. Hiryu's power-ups never really feel all that vital or add much to the mechanics, and largely function to open doors that inhibit progress or hide some shiny baubles scattered about. The exploration part of the game feels largely like an afterthought, and the only things that really feel worth hunting down are the health and special weapon power-related upgrades. Everything else feels fairly inconsequential, which is due mostly to the game's unfortunate and boring combat.
If you really NEED to play another one of these kinds of games, by all means, Strider will probably be your cup of tea, but if you want something that's a little more engaging, it's best to look elsewhere.
http://bossdungeon.com/review-paper-sorcerer/ - Full review.
If you're in the market for something that's a little Wizardry and a little Shin Megami Tensei, may have a thing or two for you. The first-person dungeon crawling is pretty much everything you've come to expect from these kinds of games, but the combat demands strategic use of all your party members' abilities and strengths. In fact, combat is really the best part of Paper Sorcerer. It may take the same amount of time to clear some normal packs of trash mobs in this game as it would to take on a boss from any other RPG, but the battles themselves are worth it and are infrequent and varied enough to keep from becoming too repetitive.
Unfortunately, my recommendation of this game comes with some SEVERE hesitation. The entire user interface is an uncategorized, unformatted, and at times non-functioning mess. Thankfully the menu bugginess is mostly limited to non-combat situations, but it's still a major pain to work with such an aggressively bad UI. There are also a number of bugs that can occur while exploring the dungeon that may require a restart of the game, which will also re-close any doors you've opened making it harder to re-orient yourself afterward. There's either some slight inexperience going on here or the game needed to get booted out the door to satisfy Kickstarter backers.
If you want some engaging as hell combat and party customization and don't mind wading through some annoying bugs and terrible menus, by all means have a go at Paper Sorcerer.
What can really be said about The Binding of Isaac at this point that hasn't already been said? A devilish little roguelike wrapped up in a highly-interpretive commentary on relgion and religious iconography with a lot of inspiration from The Legend of Zelda and Robotron/Smash TV style gameplay. The sheer variety of items to find and combine and the massive amount of enemy types and bosses you'll come across make the game's super low price for entry seem almost insane, and even when the game starts asking for multiple playthroughs to finally see the "true end" it somehow still keeps tossing new things at you to fight and play with.
That said, I don't feel that the game is immediately rewarding and doesn't always make the best of first impressions. The artstyle may not be your thing, the four-way firing mechanics and low rate of fire can make it difficult to really get started, and the heavy reliance on random elements won't always gel with everyone, especially when the game spawns rooms where not taking damage is impossible. It can take a while for The Binding of Isaac to really grab you, and for some it may just never happen.
If it does manage to grab you though, you're in for an almost endlessly replayable little treat that just keeps giving and giving. It's also highly recommended that you get as much as you want or can out of the vanilla game before investing in the DLC.
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