Aldershot

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The Luckiest T-Shirt

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JermEx Machina

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MichaelBtheGameGenie

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Talos Principle: Impressions

The Talos Principle is a philosophical first person puzzler. You'll be exploring gorgeous environments as you solve puzzle to puzzle, so you can collect pieces to complete other puzzles! While you tickle your brain, the game slowly unfolds a loose narrative that explores themes of the self, and the existential. Philosophy majors, this game is practically made for you!

Though it all could sound slightly pretentious, the creatively designed puzzles that seems to hit just the right mark in difficulty and satisfaction, that I think even the most modest of puzzle players (like myself) can find a lot of enjoyment from The Talos Principle. If you're not into heavy philosophical themes, the good news is the gameplay is more than enough as the focal point.

The Talos principle also features some of the best graphics I've seen this year in games. Not only are the texture, model, and lighting quality expertly crafted, but the design, the idea of mixing multiple timeline motifs, is equally worth praising. Those who enjoy a great sound track from their games won't be disappointed here either.

To be honest, I have a hard time coming up with a negative for this game. I am really enjoying it so far, and I find most every aspect of it very satisfying. I think the only thing that might be keeping some potential players away is the price point. $40 is defiantly a higher end price point for what a lot consider and indie game. I don't agree with the notion that indie games need to be set at a lower price point, but I am also aware it does exists. What I will say is that the game has a presentation quality that in my opinion, is on the same level as many AAA games, while retaining that creative freedom that indie games have come to be known for.

Pros:
- Creative and satisfying puzzles
- Gorgeous art and design
- Great OST
- Intrigueing narrative

Cons:
- Might be pricey for some

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Free On Itch.io: Pretty Games - Hollow // Hets // Offworld -


This edition of Free on Itch.io we take a look at "pretty", or aesthetically pleasant games.

The "Free on Itch.io" series is a showcase series where I take a quick first look into 3 free games featured on Itch.io, an indie games platform. Each video in this series will take a theme, and we showcase games that looks like it would fit into the picked theme.

Follow me on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/aldershot8008


Games featured this episode:

Hollow:
http://killerham.itch.io/hollow

Hets:
http://ditto.itch.io/hets

Offworld:
http://tengu-games.itch.io/offworld





Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chaos Reborn: Early impression Ft: FedoraG4mer

Chaos Reborn is a very interesting multiplayer focused turn based strategy game, that seems to feature some CCG elements as well. You start as a wizard each and as the turns move on you'll be casting creatures, and spells from the cards drawn from your deck, while racing to mana wells to power up your abilities.

Certainly it features a lot of tactical thinking and great for those who enjoy cerebral gameplay. The game currently looks quite good as well, with a fantasy setting that could rival Blizzard design. Though the gameplay is quite enjoyable already do know it's not perfect and there are serious missing elements to this game currently.

Almost all character customization and a large part of the progression system has yet to be implmented (as of this impression) and the gameplay focus almost soley on RNG based tactics.

Currently I can say the gameplay is enjoyable, but lacks any sense of commitment since the progression system is simply not there. The game's core is playable currently but do know a very large portion of this game has yet to be implemented. It feels very incomplete right now.

I will give this game a recommendation solely because steam dosn't allow for mixed reviews, but do know you are getting the bare minimum currently. I'd recommend keeping an eye on Chaos reborn for the time being and invest in it on later versions or even when the game is complete

Pros:
- Good visuals and audio
- Engaging tactical play
- From a proven and competent development team

Cons:
- Feels very early and incomplete. Too many features missing
- Balance needs tweaking

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Distance: Early Impressions

Distance features high quality visuals and audio, with a great sound track. The game is essentially an arcade racer that focuses on avoiding obstacles and quick reflexes. It has a lot of very interesting ideas and mechanics, including flight (yeah, your car can fly), interesting play on gravity (drive on walls and ceiling), and some environmental hazards that are quite unique in how they can affect your performance.

The game excels at giving the player the sensation of speed, but also keeps him/her on their toes as the tracks are always littered with piles of hazards. When you first jump into Distance, some parts of the game may get frustrating at first, and your first flight will probably end in tragedy. There is a learning curve, but if you can get over that hump, this game can feel incredibly satisfying as you learn to needle thread through obstacles, and flipping your car just at the right moment, you'll find that "holy shit" moment more than once.

My only real complaint is how the game handles gravity some times. As mentioned previously, you can flip your car to drive on ceilings and walls, but the game some times doesn't know what to do with the car if you don't jump or flip exactly as the game wants you to. Instead of making a landing that looked perfectly reasonable, you fly off into the nether, then your car blows up... I hope the developers can make some adjustments in the future and tweak the gravity to be more consistent and user friendly.

Distance is in Early Access, but unlike many in the same program Distance feels very complete. It already features a full and robust options and graphics settings, level editor with over 150 user made maps available already, local and online multiplayer, and multiple ways to play the campaign maps. Distance has raised the bar of what gamers can expect from early access games, and this is a good thing.

Overall Distance is a very enjoyable arcade racer that will have you pulling your hair out one minute, and in the next, your nose will be touching the screen with focus and determination. It's a hell of a ride.

Pros:
- Great visuals and audio
- Fast and visceral gameplay
- Challenging
- Tons of interesting ideas
- Feels extremely complete for an early access (Beta 3297)

Cons:
- Gravity feels wonky at times
- Can be frustrating at first

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Early Look: Blood Star


Blood Star combines elements of ARPGs with isometric shooters, presented in the visual styling of "Don't Starve". This game has been criminally under the radar. Check out why I'm excited for Blood Star!

In the "Early Look" series, we showcase games that are either on Steam Greenlight, under crowd funding, or still in development and have not been released for sale. In this series, we focus on describing the game more than any thing else and we aren't overly critical since it's still in early stages and not on sale. However we will offer some feedback based on our experience.


Follow me on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/aldershot8008

Follow me on Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/aldershot8008/curation

Steam Greenlight for Blood Star
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=285475322

Kickstarter for Blood Star
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deadofthedead/blood-star

Official Website Blood Star
http://bloodstargame.com/





Saturday, December 6, 2014

Early Impressions: The Deer God

The Deer God features some of the most impressive 2.5D pixel art I've seen. Between the pleasing color pallet, the detailed animations, and the overall love and care that shines through in the design is breath taking. It's high quality aesthetic certainly helps the game as one of the most enjoyable aspect of the Deer God is simply exploring and discovering the game's many biomes and events.

As you play through the game, you'll be looking for food, surviving against predators, and environmental hazards, and growing big and strong. As you grow you'll also get faster, stronger, and can jump higher. You'll also be able to chose to become "good" or "evil" through your own actions, each featuring it's own risks and rewards. Besides exploring and platforming, you'll be developing your deer as well. But be careful, as the game features perma-death, and the only way to continue with your built up progress after an untimely demise, is to have children once you've reached maturity.

Though the game is gorgeous, and it's concept unique to it's own, it's not quite perfect. After playing an hour or 2 of Deer God, you'll start seeing more and more repetition of environments and in events. Even though you'll start seeing repetition, the game's character progression system, I feel to be too slow. On my best run, 45 minutes I saw most of the game's biomes (many times over) and my progress with my deer has reached adult, but have barely gained any new abilities or gathered enough "good" or "evil" points to seem to make a difference. I feel like this slow progress was designed to artificially raise the play time, and I feel that more variety of game events, biomes, and smarter platforming design would help this game in a big way. It should also go with out saying, that the current progress system could use some tweaking as well.

Though the game's progression system I feel could use some work, I believe Deer God is a great game overall. Even in early access, the game feels quite complete and very playable, which is not some thing I can say too often, when speaking about early access. So if Deer God looks interesting enough, you could do a lot worst.

Pros:
- Beautiful aesthetic and sound design
- Unique game concept
- Relaxing and calming

Cons:
- Progression system currently feels artificially bloated
- Could be too simple for some



Follow me on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/aldershot8008

Follow me on Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/aldershot8008/curation

Steam Store page for The Deer God
http://store.steampowered.com/app/328940/

Monday, December 1, 2014

Early Impressions: European Ship Simulator

European Ship Simulator is exactly as the name states, it is a simulation of what it's like to take control of a variety of European style ships. It's in early access so there is still a ways to go for this game but it does show some promise.

Graphically the game looks mostly top-notch. The interior of the ship's cabin are well detailed with high resolution textures and great quality models. You'll find all the small intricacies that you would in a real ship, switches, knobs, GPS, etc, which helps with immersion. The water and weather effects are also some great stuff as well. Though the ship's interior, and the ships them selves show some good quality, the game isn't 100% consistent at the moment. Some of the environmental models, such as buildings, the docks, and streets, are very low polygon and features low resolution textures. I'm hoping that these lacking elements in the visuals are just place holders until a later / final build. Audio wise I got no complaints as the sound effects are realistic with great background noises from the boat's motor and the sounds of the ocean itself keeping you company.

As far as gameplay goes, It's surprisingly easy to learn and to get adjusted to, as the main controls is "WASD". Some ships will feature the option of more intricate controls with the num pad, allowing you to manipulate each of the ship's engines individually. Even at it's early stage, the game does a good job at simulating what it's like to drive a ship...for better or worst. I say this because, though the game achieves good results as a simulation, due to what it's simulating it may make it an incompatible for some gamers. Unlike Euro Truck Simulator, where you have the micromanagement of traffic, following traffic laws, avoiding cars, etc, European Ship Simulator is mostly "set sails to full" then auto-pilot straight. There will be lulls where you are simply doing nothing but watching the waves as you wait for your ship to arrive in a straight line to your destination. For enthusiast of simulation games or sailing, this won't be an issue, as that demographic probably already understand this before jumping in, but for the average gamer who is just curious to this game, know that this is a simulation before it's a game.

Currently at the time of this impression (version 633), there isn't much in the way of options, graphics, or audio, and there is only 4 missions available with no linking campaign or side features. This is early access I do understand, but at the same time I think it's fair to let people know that in it's current state, it is the bare minimum.

Overall, European Ship Simulator shows a lot of promise, that I think will shape up to be some thing quite interesting. But currently, it does feel rather unfinished. If you are a simulation game or ship/boat enthusiast, it might be worth your cash to check it out, even in it's early stages, but for every one else, keep an eye on it, but wait for later versions or even it's final release.

Pros:
- Mostly realistic and high quality visuals
- Feels realistic
- Varied amount of ships are enjoyable to cruise around in
- Shows promise of a bright future

Cons:
- Visual quality not 100% consistent
- Feels very incomplete currently (ver: 633)
- Subject matter might not be as universally appearling as Euro Truck Simulator


Follow me on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/aldershot8008

Follow me on Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/aldershot8008/curation

Steam Store page for European Ship Simulator
http://store.steampowered.com/app/299250/