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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.

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

Cons:
- 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.

Pros:
- None.

Cons:
- 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.

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

Cons:
- 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