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State of Decay: YOSE Day One Edition: Impressions and Graphics Comparison


State of Decay was a fantastic open world zombie survival game when it was originally released on Xbox Live, but when it was ported to the PC it suffered from multiple problems. Bugs, and poor resolution were some of the most notable issues. Fortunately the core game was so good, many people including myself were willing to forgo any problems that it had, and enjoyed it any ways. What a great idea it is to "remaster" the original! The question though, is Year One remastered enough to justify a $30USD price tag?

If you've already played or own the original game is it worth $30? Short answer: NO.

Yes, the lighting have been improved significantly, and the texture quality is better, but other than that, there's not much new here. Sure, there are also some extra minor characters added, and now cars have decal (whoopie...), but every thing else about the game is exactly the same. The game advertises improved animations, and combat mechanics, yet I notice little changed about these 2 things. If there have been any changes, they're so tiny, it's barely noticeable. The two biggest improvements are the lighting and texture quality, both could of easily been added as a patch. There are no other notable additions, the model quality is exactly the same, there are no new modes to play, no new areas, no new quests, nothing for returning players.

If this was advertised as the definitive State of Decay collection, I would be fine with it. Lots of games like Boarderlands repackage old games into compilations for the benefit for new players, but this was advertised as a remastering. Even the description of the game mislead old fans to believe that there are a ton of new stuff here, when there aren't. Worst off, the most noticeable improvements, lighting, texture quality, and true 1080p, are things that should be been in place when they launched their original port! But instead they decided to charge it to us, as a lazy excuse of a remaster. If you're a returning player to the game, Year One is nothing more than a glorified update patch.

Luckily for us, the original is absolutely a stellar survival game, and since they changed nearly nothing about it, it remains a stellar survival game. If you are new to State of Decay, this might be a good time to get into the game, and perhaps Year One is suitable for the new comers. For old time fans who have already played, or own State of Decay, don't bother. It's not worth your money unless you have enough disposable income to justify it. But even then, the practice of selling what amounts to a patch for $30 and misleading old players to think that there are a ton of new stuff when there's not, is not a practice that I can condone.

Pros:

  • Still the same, great State of Decay game
  • Suitable for any one NEW to the game


Cons:


  • For returning players, there isn't much new
  • $30 for what amount to a patch is unconscionable
  • Neither combat or animation have been improved enough to justify it being in the description
  • The original was a lazy port, Year One is a lazy remastering




Killing Floor 2: Early Impressions


Killing Floor 2 is the much anticipated sequel to one of the best online co-op FPS game out there. Killing Floor 2 does much of what the first does, but bigger, higher res, and damn bloodier!

You'll be going round from round with upto 6 players online battling zombies, mutants, and all sorts of nastiness. The game currently have 4 classes, or as the game calls them "perks", and they vary from berserker, medic, commando, and support. Each class can specialize in their respective roles through a simple skill tree. The game state it will have up to 10 playable classes once the game is finalized. In between each round you'll get the opportunity to upgrade your arsenal and to refill on essentials such as ammo and armor. The formula hasn't changed much from the first game, and it's pretty simple to grasp the concept.

In terms of visuals and audio Killing Floor 2 over shadow the original by a mile. It's a huge improvement with exceptionally good looking environments and enemies, and the soundtrack of the game is simply amazing. It features some of the rockingest metal that has ever metaled, well suited to a game like Killing Floor 2.

Another nice improvement from the first Killing Floor is the way the guns handle. Each gun and it's bullets will have physics attached to them, how you shoot your weapon, standing, crouched, while moving, etc, will affect how it'll shoot. The recoil feels realistic, the bullet physics feel right, it's on par if not above what modern military shooters have to offer. This is welcomed! A game like Killing Floor 2 could of easily gotten away with a much simpler design in gun mechanics, but it went above and beyond expectations and the game benefits greatly from it.

Though the game is a lot of fun at the moment it's not perfect. It being in early access also means not all the content is released yet. Since the game demand the player to play it over and over again, doing pretty much the same thing, the player could potentially feel the burn quicker than if it wasn't in early access. Currently there's only 4/10 classed available, not all traits, characters, maps, guns, game modes, and enemies have been implemented, meaning the content that currently available is limited. With limited amount of things to try and experiment with, the game runs the danger of getting monotonous faster than it would of otherwise. This is simply speculation as I've pumped in over 10 hours so far and have yet to feel the monotony burn quite yet. But I can see the potential for it and I think it's worth mentioning.

Overall Killing Floor 2 is a bloody joy to play, even in it's early access form, and will only get better as the game slowly move towards it's final Build.

Pros:
- Highly improved graphics, audio, and gun play from the original
- Still one of the best online co-op FPS available
- High skill ceiling, yet easy to understand
- Feels polished and playable for an early access

Cons:
- The missing content from it being in early access could make monotony an issue




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Killing Floor 2 on Steam
http://store.steampowered.com/app/232090/

Killing Floor 2 official web site
http://www.killingfloor2.com/

Killing Floor hours played (Including beta): 10

Completion Status on Killing Floor 2: N/A

This copy of Killing Floor 2 was given for review by the developers.

Victor Vran: Early Impressions


Victor Vran is an ARPG that has combat and twitch based action at the forefront. It has some interesting systems in play, such as your main skills are attached to your weapons. Since you can take 2 weapons into combat at any given time, it basically allows the player to take 2 sets of skills into combat, switching to maximize DPS and cool downs. Couple this with the ability to dodge we have an ARPG that's very much focused on the A part of ARPG.

Victor Vran has a lot going for it. It has great visuals and audio, a stream lined build system where it still allows for a great degree of customization, and an action focused, and very enjoyable combat. But since the game is in early access, all of it's current flaws lay with this fact. There's no narrative or a proper campaign currently, a lot of models, items, and mobs are reused, and the progression of the game is excruciatingly dragged out. I attribute all of these flaws to it being in early access. I feel the biggest flaw is the slow progression. I have over 7 hours pumped into Victor Vran and barely leveled above level 10. It almost feels like the developers artificially inflated the amount of gold and xp needed to progress in order to hide the lack of content the game current suffers from. It just doesn't feel rewarding and I stopped out of boredom.

Sure I have my complaints but almost all of them are tied into it being in early access. The fantastic combat and how polished every thing feels is my best indication that Victor Vran isn't a lost cause. In fact I highly recommend people to keep an eye on this one. I'm hoping that once it's fully released it'll be something really special. As mentioned before, the game has a lot going for it. The Combat and character build systems in place already are very strong and very enjoyable. The presentation is eye catching and polished, it just needs to be done. There simply just needs to be a lot more of these things.

Overall Victor Vran is an interesting ARPG that has a lot of promise, but in it's current state there simply just not enough of it. Keep an eye on this one.

Pros:
- Polished Visuals and audio
- Fun combat and character build design
- Accessible and easy to get into

Cons:
- Feels very incomplete
- Drawn out progression
- Lacks story or a proper campaign (currently)




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Victor Vran on Steam
http://store.steampowered.com/app/345180/

Victor Vran official web site
http://victorvran.com/

Victor Vran hours played: 7

Completion Status on Victor Vran: Incomplete

This copy of Victor Vran was given for review by the developers.

Ubermosh: Quick Look


Ubermosh is a pretty simple game. Jump into it, use your giant blade to kill your foes and to reflect their bullets back at them. Pick up weapons from fallen enemies and use it to your advantage. Get as much kills as possible with'n the game's time limit with out dying, rinse, improve your score, and repeat.

Aesthetically I don't have much complaints. I like the pixel art and the sound track is amazing, it might be my favorite part of the game and hope to see the OST released for sale in the future.

Ubermosh isn't very expensive, about $2.00 USD, and the content reflect the price. There's not a whole lot here, no multiplayer, no extra modes or features, it's just going to be score attack over and over again. Luckily for us, what is here currently is great! The combat is a lot of fun and well designed. It's challenging with a high skill ceiling, and as mentioned before, the music is amazing. Ubermosh is currently in early access, so that could explain the lack of content, but hopefully we'll see much more added to the game as I feel like it has a lot of potential.

Overall Ubermosh has a lot of promise. The combat is exciting, the music is fantastic, and the challenge is enjoyable, I just want to see a lot more of all these things in the near future.

Pros:
- Great visuals and audio, especially the music
- Very reasonable price ($2.00 USD)
- Fun combat

Cons:
- Needs a lot more content



Follow me on Twitter:
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http://store.steampowered.com/curator/7134938/
http://steamcommunity.com/groups/aldershot8008

Ubermosh on Steam:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/357070/

Ubermosh official website:
http://www.ubermosh.com/

Ubermosh hours played at recording: 1

Completion Status on Ubermosh: N/A

This copy of Ubermosh given by the developers for review

Westerado Double Barreled: Impressions


Westerado is an interesting sandbox western adventure game. If you've played Red Dead Redemption it's along the lines of that, except more pixelleted. Like in Red Dead Redemption, the game offers an open world where you can interact with the people and the enviroments as you chose. You can explore the world and take on quests in any order you chose. You can even rob a bank, murder the towns folk, and accuse any one of hanous acts... or you might not. . It's totally up to you!

At the start of the game, you'll find your family murdered and your ranch burned down. The goal is to figure out who did it, and get your revenge. Here's the interesting twist, the bandit that wronged you could be any one, any NPC in the game. You'll be tasked with doing various missions to find clues to the masked bandit. As you find more clues that discribes differnt features, such as fat or skinny, color of his/her cloths, the type of hat s/he's wearing, you'll be able to accuse people of murder. You may accuse who ever you like and when ever, but if you're not sure, and you're wrong, the situation could turn south very quickly. Caution when accusing is suggested. You'll also be able to find more clues and hints through conversations with the townsfolks and though it does feature the usual "dialog choice A or B" design there is an additional option to draw your weapon in the middle of any conversation. Doing so could affect the out come. Besides talking to the locals and hunting down bandits, there are other mini games such as poker to help distract the player. The game has a vast open world for the player to discover, and offers a lot of content and things to do while adventuring.

Aesthetically I think the game looks wonderful. The game's pixel art does a great job detailing the game's enviroment. The color pallet is suiting and easy on the eyes, and there's a high degree of artestry being displayed here. The audio is equally worth praising, as it's full of memorable spegetti western themes.

The only part of Westerdo I would critique is how the game handles identifying the killer. The whole goal of the game is to identify a very spicific person with very spicific visual traits. Since the game is done in all pixel art, it could potentially make the task more difficult than it needs to be. There are tons of NPCs in the game, all looking quite differnt, but not THAT differnt, and telling the differnance NPC A's slighly taller hat than NPC B's could prove more challenging than need be. But to be fair, I haven't had that issue my self, but I can see it as a potential issue for some one else.

Over all Westardo is a wonderfully designed pixel open world western game, with a lot to like about it. The game is open not only in the world that you explore, but also in how the player explores it. Be a bandit, be a hero, it totally up to you. Either way, Westerdo is an easy recommendation.

Pros:
- Well designed open world gameplay
- Very open to a variety of play styles (Be a bandit! be a hero!)
- Great aesthetics and music
- Encourages replay

Cons:
- Pixel style could make identifying the killer harder than needed
- Lacks extra features and options







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Westerado: Double Barreled on Steam
http://store.steampowered.com/app/275200

Westerado: Double Barreled official web site
http://www.ostrichbanditos.com/

Westerado: Double Barreled hours played: 3.5

Completion Status onWesterado: Double Barreled: Incomplete

This copy of Westerado: Double Barreled was given for review by the developers.

Square Heroes: Quick Look


Square Heroes is an multiplayer focused arena game where you take control of a square (literally) as it floats around the arena, taking out NPC enemies to collect the coins out of them. With more coins collected, you'll automatically upgrade your arsenal through out the match. You'll then take that newly earned arsenal and blast your player controlled enemies for points! It's an easy to get into multiplayer game that has a fair amount things to collect and upgrade as you play.

The game features a cartoony aesthetic with hilariously expressive characters, with a vibrant and bright color pallet. It also offers a variety of game modes to play through, such as death match, team death match, capture points, and survival. There's also lots of incentive to replay as you can upgrade your weaponary, as well as earning new cosmetic items to add in that extra spice of flavor.

The game is definitely multiplayer focused. The single player that is available is little more than a basic tutorial to teach you the game's mechanics. The single player in the game to be honest isn't all that engaging, it's all about shooting your friends and strangers online. That's where the potential problems may come. Though the game itself is quite fun when playing with real people, it can be difficult finding any one online to play it. From my experience with the game on day one of it's release, I've had over a dozen games and only about 2-3 of those games had actual players in them. The majority of my experience were with bots. This isn't really a negative point on the game itself, but is something people need to be aware of before investing money into Square Heroes. If you have a group of friends who are willing to all get the game, you'll have fun. If this impression is incorrect by the time you read this, and the game explodes in it's player base, then you'll have fun. BUT if the game still has the same population online when I played it, it can get a little boring playing with bots 80-90% of the time

Overall Square Heroes has some interesting ideas, my favorite being the arms race in the beginning to mid portion of any given match, and can be a whole lot of fun with some friends or strangers you'll meet online. But be aware, the game is relatively mundane when playing with bots, and from my experience with it, there were more bots than players online. I really hope that changes because I think Square Heroes has some real potential

Pros:
- The arms race mechanic is very interesting and a lot of fun
- Lots to collect and upgrade
- Very accessible and easy to learn
- Good aesthetics

Cons:
- (from my experience) low online population
- Might be too simple for some

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Square Heroes on Steam:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/334560/cc?=us

Square Heroes official website:
http://www.squareheroes.com/

Square Heroes hours played at recording: 2.5

Completion Status on Square Heroes: N/A

This copy of Square Heroes given by the developers for review

Captain Forever Remix: Early Impressions


Captain Forever Remix melds the idea of perma death and random generation from the roguelike games and the customization of ship builder games. An interesting hybrid, one that I feel worked out!

When you first jump into the game you'll be able to do a quick build of your ship from an assortment of different starting kits. Each kit will have their own type of blocks, and already in it's early access form, there is a large variety of blocks and gizmos to discover and build out of. Once the ship is ready to go, you'll head out into space to do battle with other ships. If you managed to destroy the enemy, what parts they had left over you'll be able to scavenge and use for your own ship to grow it in power and performance. But be aware, this game is all real time, so you'll have to quickly attach parts, often while under enemy fire. This help keep the game feeling frantic, and multitasking skills will be tested.

The controls of the game will take some getting used to. The game has a physics system that takes into account your ship's weight, balance, and inertia. Because of this, depending on how you build your ship, it can move very sluggish, and can feel floaty. But once you get adjusted and can factor it's physics you'll be sailing the 7 galaxies in no time!

The visuals and audio is just fantastic in this game. I love the cartoon style, and the audio is great as well. Wonderful music with all the appropriate beeps and boops that you would expect.

I don't have too much negatives to point out about the game so far (this is a good thing of course), but I do have a couple of suggestions. Though the game works perfectly fine as a single player game, I can also envision this game as multiplayer and imagine it to be a lot of fun! Shooting each other's parts off, building from your enemy's ships. I think the game would be well suited for it. Of course, at this time it is only single player, and I don't think there is any plans for multiplayer, but it is something I would love to see in Captain Forever Remix.

Overall, Captain Forever Remix is an interesting blend of genres that looks great, plays great, and really taps into the player's creativity when constructing a ship. For an early access, the game feels very complete and polished.

Pros:
- Great visual and audio design
- Fun, creative, and challenging
- Accessible and easy to learn
- Feels very complete and polished for an early access

Cons:
- Could use a better options menu
- Lacks extra features



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Captain Forever Remix on Steam
http://store.steampowered.com/app/298560/

Captain Forever Remix official web site
http://www.captainforever.com

Captain Forever Remix hours played: 4

Completion Status on Captain Forever Remix: Incomplete

This copy of Captain Forever Remix was given for review by the developers.

Cities Skylines: Quick Look


Cities Skyline gives the player everything you would expect from a proper modern city builder game. It has expansive maps, detailed cities and population, intricate micro management, yet it's accessible and easy to pick up.

Graphically the game is a looker. With detailed models, atmospheric filtering effects, and all the little things happening when you zoom in, the game look and feels alive. The audio design is immersive with the hustle and bustle of the crowds and traffic pulling the player in. Though the music seems over dramatic and on default settings it's strangely loud, but it does the job at keeping the player company.

Mechanically the game can get deep when you learn all the details, yet the basics to get going is pretty easy. With that said, the game still requires a degree of self research as all the finer details in it's mechanics aren't always fully explained.

Overall Cities: Skylines is a very enjoyable city builder, and at it's core, every thing I wanted from a modern Sim City.

Pros:
- Easy to learn
- Lots of fine detail to micromanage
- Great looking, very immersive
- Supports mods
- Huge map to build on

Cons:
- Finer detail mechanics aren't always explained well
- Some quality of life issues could use smoothing out

Cities: Skyline hours played at recording: 22
Completion Status on Cities Skyline: N/A
This copy of Cities: Skyline was purchased on Steam


Follow me on Twitter:
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http://store.steampowered.com/curator/7134938/
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Cities: Skylines on Steam:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/255710/

Cities: Skylines official website:
https://www.paradoxplaza.com/cities-skylines