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Bunker Punks: Impressions

Bunker Punks is an interesting blend of classic FPS mechanics and modern Roguelikes.

Like FPS of old, there is no reload, no regenerating shields, and no iron sights. It's pure run and fun goodness. It even features graphics that is very close to it's inspiration. The enemies, props, and items are all 2D sprites in a 3D world, even the textures are pixelated to match the feel of classic FPSs such as Doom, or Wolfenstein. Of course all of this is presented within a roguelike format. Randomly generated maps, loot, and permadeath is some of it's key features.

I would probably call Bunker Punks a rogue-lite over roguelike because like other rogue-lites, such as Rogue legacy, there will be upgrades that you can unlock that will carry over to the next playthrough. Such as new items that could potentially drop, extra bunkers, or new characters.

The gameplay itself is pretty simple. Run and gun your way through a connected map, looting and shooting your way into riches. Collect cred, and tech to upgrade your bunker, and collect items to upgrade your characters. There will be multiple weapons available to unlock and pick up and even multiple characters to try.

The game plays well enough, but it's not perfect. There are definitely things I'd like to see added or improved on. It's nice the game has variety of characters to play as, but since it's only their base stats that differentiate each other, and since you can customize your load up and pick ups, they all end up playing exactly the same, especially at later parts of a run. I'd also like to see more enemy and environment variations, as of this current review, the RNG does cycle through a lot of the same material over and over again. Another addition I'd really like to see added is secret rooms. Finding secret rooms were some of the best parts of those old FPSs, and it's a shame it's not in Bunker Punks.

Overall Bunker Punks is a well conceived blend of classic FPS with roguelike elements. It's fast paced, challenging, and plays and feels just like it's inspirations. Many of my critiques are fairly minor and easily addressed in future updates, at least let's hope they do.

- Very good representation of classic FPS
- The genre blending is handled well
- Fast paced and challenging
- Good upgrade system
- Addictive

- Character selection is bland
- More variety in enemies and environment needed
- Needs secret rooms

► Bunker Punks Video recorded on update: Ver. 0.115
► Bunker Punks hours played: 4 hours
► Completion Status on Bunker Punks: N/A
► This copy of Bunker Punks was provided by the developer / publisher

Under Zero: Impressions - Possibly the worst game I've played

Under Zero is not a good game.

It has no mechanics, you simply walk around and do nothing. There's a wolf some where in the world that'll chase you and pretend that it's attacking you, but it's not. It dosn't hurt or kill you, it just really really want to.

The music cuts out akwardly, the graphics are terribly under developed, the menu barely works, and there is simply no redeeming value to Under Zero.

I don't often blast a game so hard, but no one should spend a dime of their money on this cash grab. Even if it was free I wouldn't waste a second playing this.

I get that's in early access, but it's no excuse to charge people money for a "game" that looks, sounds, and play as horribly as Under Zero.

- None.

- Poor graphics
- Poor sound design
- No mechanics
- Menu barely works
- No challenge
- Uninteresting enviroment
- Glitchy
- VERY underdeveloped

► Video recroded on update: March 26 2016 (last update since recording)
► Under Zero hours played: 20 minutes
► Completion Status on Under Zero: N/A
► This copy of Under Zero was provided by the developer / publisher

Pharaoh Rebirth: Impressions (Metroidvania, Indie Game)

Pharaoh Rebirth takes the idea of metroidvania style of maps and item acquisition and mashes it up with more high action platformers such as Dust, or Cave Story.

To break the game down simply, you go from stage to stage, searching through the map for new items and skills in order to advance through, until you reach the end boss. Along your journey you have a variety of ways to defend yourself against the game's varied amount of enemies and traps. You have a basic forward attack, an upward swing, and the ever useful, aerial somersault. Each attack will have it's own advantages and disadvantages, for example, the normal attack does a ton of damage but have limited reach and utility. While the aerial somersault is incredibly useful for comboing, protecting yourself from oncoming projectiles, and for control of a given combat scenario, however, it's weaker than your basic attack. You also have a quick dodge / dash that you can use for both maneuverability, as well as bypassing incoming projectiles. Along your travels you'll also come across items of varying degree. Some items will give you passive buffs, while others are active, and can be used to heal, buff, and some are even usable weapons. As you continue through the game you'll find many more skills, items, and weapons. This is essentially the core of what makes up Pharaoh Rebirth.

Pharaoh Rebirth's visuals are well illustrated and animated. The frames are smooth, and the pixel art professional looking. The overall design is rather cutesy, but not so overbearingly so, that you'll be ashamed to play it in public. It's overall aesthetic quality is great, but it is mired by technical limitations. There is no native resolution, no 1080p, or even simply a wide screen mode. If you set the game to "full screen" on the pre-launch menu, you'll be greeted with stretched pixels, and distorted images. Even when set to Windowed mode, the game will launch as a tiny 640 X 640 square, where you'll have to manually stretch the game, doing your best not to stretch the pixels out side of it's originally designed resolution. To say the least, this is not optimal.

The game itself is a very enjoyable romp, that offers a fair challenge to the player, while maintaining a very accessible set of mechanics that most could quickly understand within just a few minutes of play. Though it's simple at first, you'll find yourself dying more than once as you progress. Enemies take off large chunks of life, and there is no health regen except very specifically located check points. Trial and error will be your best teacher. As you would expect from a metroidvania style of game you'll be fighting bad guys, and exploring the map which seems like a fine endeavor, however, there doesn't seem to be any real map makers, compass, minimap, or even... a map at all. The player will be forced to rely on memory, or in my case, pure attrition to make it out of any given stage.

Overall Pharaoh Rebirth is a satisfying, and enjoyable action platformer with some metroidvania style mechanics for good measure. The combat and map design are enjoyable, creative, and just deep enough to keep players entertained, however, what is an otherwise very enjoyable game is mired by technical limitations with it's resolution, and player conveniences such as a map.

- Enjoyable combat and boss fights
- Just deep and challenging enough to satisfy
- Simple enough for casual play
- Excellent animation and pixel art

- No map (That I could find)
- Terrible resolution options

► Pharaoh Rebirth hours played: 3.5
► Completion Status on Pharaoh Rebirth: Incomplete
► This copy of Pharaoh Rebirth was provided by the developer / publisher

Devil Daggers: Impressions (Gothic Arcade endless shooter)

Devil Daggers is an endless arcade shooter that's incredibly challenging, yet satasfying.
It's best suited for short burst gameplay, around 30-60 second rounds, but of course if you're capable, even longer. Infact that's the real goal. To survive as long as possible.

The mechanics are pretty simple. You can shoot a stream of "devil daggers" or tap your shoot key for a shotgun-like burst. You can also collect red jewels as you kill larger enemies to improve your devil daggers' strength. It's all about micromanaging your spatial awareness, and priority in what to kill.

Though the premise is simple enough, the challenge is incredibly high. You'll get overwhelmed with enemies very quickly if you're not careful. Surviving for longer than a minute per round is a true achievement. There is an addictive value to the game's design loop with "one more game" as the initiative to replay over and over again.

The game's visuals are striking and stylized. With an eerie Gothic horror look, rendered in a pixel-3D aesthetic. The sound design is disturbing and compliment it's visuals quite well. It presents a moody atmosphere that drew me in.

The game can certainly be considered repetitive, and with only one mode to play it dosn't help it's repetition. After playing just a few rounds I quickly understood why the game was so cheap at $5.00 USD. There really isn't much content here. Luckily for us, what is here is addictive, challenging, and satasfying.

Overall, Devil Daggers is a cheap, grotesquely gorgeous endless shooter that is well suited for score attackers. It's short on content, but makes it up an addictive designed gameplay loop.

- Atmospheric visual and sound design
- Incredibly challenging
- Very addictive
- Appropriate price tag

- Short on content
- Might not be for everyone

► Devil Daggers hours played: 2
► Completion Status on Devil Daggers: N/A
► This copy of Devil Daggers provided by the developers

XCOM 2: Initial Impressions (Turn based strategy)

|Xcom2 is a difficult and challenging game. If anyone new is thinking about getting it I suggest lots of research and learning on how to apply the game's available mechanics successfully. My perspective is purely from some one who's new to the series and haven't played much turn based strategy in the past.

Much of your success will be based on probability rolls. What this means is, even if your shot has an 85% chance of success, you could still very well fail. It can be infuriating, but careful planning and smart use of the tools available can very much help mitigate some of that frustration.

XCOM 2: Initial Impressions (Turn based strategy, Gameplay, and Review) Relevant information on American Truck Simulator and links below ► XCOM 2 hours played: 11 ► Completion Status on American...

I've mentioned that this is a difficult game, and indeed the learning curve is very high but strangely enough, understanding the core mechanics was easy and well paced. Learning how to apply them is the challenging part.

Overally XCOM2 is a very satisfying game when things go according to play, but can be infuriating when it doesn't. I like it

Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen: Impressions

Dragon's Dogma's best features are two parts. First, it's combat, the second, it's pawn system. Both unique to Dragon's Dogma alone.

What drew me into the game was when I first scaled a giant monster and start swinging attacks at it's head while holding for dear life. Though you won't be doing this all the time, it certainly is a combat feature that stands out. When fighting smaller mobs, the combat plays out similar to games like Dark Souls or Monster Hunter. You'll be using the learned combat skills and spells that you've acquired to wreck havoc on enemies that stands in your way. These skills will drain your stamina bar, so managing regular attacks and special attacks will be key to your survival. The combat overall is very player skill based, but has all the pre-planning of equipment and skill management that people have come to love about RPGs.

The ally system, or "Pawn" system of the game is especially interesting. You create your own Pawn, it's appearance, and class, and you'll be able to level it up while setting up it's skills to compliment your desired party make up. The interesting part of this is, that Pawn you designed will be uploaded into the game's server and exported into other people's games. Other players will then hire it and will bring back treasures given to it back into your game, as well as knowledge of quests completed in other people's games. You of course, will also be able to hire other people's pawns into your game. This passive online feature helps create a connection to the greater world of Dragon's Dogma. It's one of the game's most unique features, and in my opinion, one of it's best.

As far as equipment, exploration and story is concerned it's pretty average to be honest. The stat and equipment is pretty run of the mill RPG, nothing you haven't seen before. The exploration, though vast in scale, is not nearly as interesting as exploring worlds in other games like Skyrim. The story of the game is pretty forgettable, and certainly was not an aspect that kept me playing.

The presentation of the game is acceptable. Keeping in mind, the game was originally released in 2012, the PC port being so late, it definitely shows some age. Compared to more contemporary AAA games, the game's low texture resolution, dated lighting, and lower polygon meshes become very apparent. It's not an ugly game, and still looks great, but it's age definitely shows.

Though there is much to love about the game but it's not perfect. The game suffers from a lot of rinse and repeat gameplay loops. So basically there's a lot of repetition and grinding involved. The traversing in the game seem to be inspired from RPGs of old, before quick travel, as quick traveling is something that is earned, and a valuable commodity, rather than a convenience feature that we've grown accustomed to from other open world RPGs. And as mentioned before, the story is very forgettable. Hell, I stopped paying attention to it altogether.

Overall, Dragon's Dogma is a great ARPG with a very enjoyable combat system, and an unique party system. Though it's other parts are a little mundane, this is a rare case where the sum of it's parts, is greater than it's whole.

- Excellent combat
- Climbing giant mobs is exhilarating
- Passive online "Pawn" system is well conceived
- Large overworld map
- Addictive gameplay loop

- Slightly dated graphics
- Large world relatively uninteresting to explore in detail
- Traversing can be grindy

► Review Created on Update: 18 January (last update date)
► Hours played: 25
► Completion Status: Incomplete
► This copy of Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen was purchased on Steam

Punch Club: Impressions (Career Tycoon, Simulator, Indie Game)

Punch Club is basically Boxing Tycoon, similar to Game Dev Tycoon. Except in Punch Club, there's a written story to follow, and an ending to the game.  Much like Game Dev Tycoon, you'll be micro managing a variety of skills until your the champ.

As a tycoon game, Punch Club has a variety of stats and meters to maintain. The most interesting ones being the combat stats of agility, strength, and endurance. What makes these interesting is the fact that they degrade over time, forcing the player to keep up their training routine in order to have their stats at a desired level. Your routine will usually consist of eating, sleeping, training, working, shopping, and fighting.

Building your character comes down to what kind of fighter you wish to be. A fast, and accurate jabber? A slow but heavy haymaker? Or purhapes a tanky turtler. It's best to chose one of the 3 conventional builds, as trying to be a jack of all trades will often lead to a failed character. The game's development system can be punishing. If you don't train properly, or don't pay attention to the skill tree, it'll be expensive to fix any errors, as every skill will cost more, the more you invest.

Combat plays out automatically, but allows the player to build a combat "deck" from skills attained through the skill tree. Between rounds the player can change up their skills as needed.

To say the least, the game certainly has a lot of depth for the player to dive into, but remains accessible enough, that even new comers to the genre could probably get a handle of pretty quickly.

The presentation of the game is detailed with well illustrated pixel art, and filled with nostalgia, referances, and easter eggs.

There's a lot to like about Punch Club, the retro aesthetics, the pop culture referances, the depth of the micro-managment, and it's addictive value, but the game is not perfect. I feel like the biggest flaw with the game is easily the repetition. Once you find a comfortable routine that works for you, you'll be sticking to it for the majority of the game, with only rare mini-quests to break up the action. The combat is also unskippable which gets annoying after a little while, especailly considering that the combat is completely automated. Why not give the player the option to skip the the end round results? Though I did find the micromanagment of the game addictive, it was also grindy and at times tedius.

Overall Punch Club is a well put togeather career tycoon game, that features great nostalgia, excellent presentation, and addictive gameplay, but can get tidius with a lot of repetition.

- Great aesthetics
- Addictive gameplay loop
- Multiple build possibiities

- Repetitive
- Skill tree mistakes are punishing

Punch Club on Steam:

Punch Club official web site:

Hours of Punch Club played: 7

Completion Status on Punch Club: Incomplete

This copy of Punch Club provided by the developers for review