Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Black Ice: Early Impressions

Black Ice video created on version: 0.4.002

Black Ice may look simple on first impression, but I assure you, the progression and character building system in this game is quite robust and very fulfilling. You can upgrade and customize almost every aspect of your character, including your attacks, traps, and even your jumps and dashes. Almost every aspect of the toon is upgradable. The game draws inspiration from others like Borderlands or Diablo, and the loot system reflects this. There is a giant plethora of items and abilities to collect and upgrade, with various rarity and random stats, and modifiers. It's arguable that Black Ice's robust random loot system is already on par with the game's inspirations, which is saying a lot considering that this is still in early access. I can not praise the progression system of this game enough. It is incredibly addictive.

The aesthetics of the game are striking, and very eye catching, with a pile of visual interest. With that said, it's not perfect and there are room for improvement. The architecture of the digital city is bland, with mostly rectangles with neon outlines. I understand that the game is trying to keep the visuals simple, but that doesn't mean that's an excuse for ignoring all the little details. Bridges, window frames, interesting shaped buildings, street lights, wires, signs, etc, all these sort of accents you would find in any cyber punk city would go a long way for Black Ice, if it wants to keep gamers in awe at it's visuals. The game is not ugly, but once you're past the visual impact of the game, it can get boring to stare at after a while.

As far as game play is concerned, the shooting itself is fairly par. This could also be said about Boarderlands, but like Boarderlands, it's really the progression system, and the loot grind that will keep players interested. It's certainly my main reason to keep playing. Once in combat, out side of a few random boss encounters, you'll run into mostly the same mobs over and over again. This is probably this game's weakest point at the moment. The game does lack a degree of enemy variety, and because of that, also combat variety, and hopefully this will be resolved in the future.

Overall Black Ice is a very strong foundation that features a very well fleshed out progression system, with tons of potential for custom character builds. The loot random generation is some of the best I've ever seen, and will more than likely be your main reason to keep playing. Though not perfect, Black Ice is a great game, that is already a lot of fun, even at it's early stages.

- Fantastic progression system
- Excellent random loot generation
- Addictive gameplay
- Eye catching visuals
- Great music

- Enemy variety is lacking
- Visuals could use some refining with better detailing
- Those sensitive to grinds need to be aware this is fairly grindy (in a good way imo)

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Steam Store page for The Black Ice

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Fifth Day: Early Impressions

The Fifth Day video created on version: 0.0.1

The Fifth day is another entry to the survival sandbox genre, but this time you're a robot. The game description state that it has craftable bases, hacking, AI, and other goodies, but after 3 hours of playing I saw none of that. After 3 hours I found 2 guns, a book, and some roboty things like power cells and... other kinds of power cells. I've read on the forums that there are some people who have built bases and done all the cool high end stuff this game claims to feature, but if I haven't seen a hint of any of that after 3 hours, I don't even want to fathom the dozens of hours it took those players to get to their point. Basically the game has serious pacing issues. The world though looks passable, is incredibly empty, with little to interact with.

The game does have some redeeming features. The visuals are passable, the concept of being a robot seems interesting, and I like the idea of all the features... too bad I didn't experience any of them.

Now I know this game is early access and because of that I may come back to this and revamp some of this written impression, but for the time being, The Fifth Day is, at it's best, a "wait and see".

- Passable graphic fidelity
- Interesting idea to feature robots as the playable characters
- The features sounds interesting (never experienced them though)

- Terrible pacing
- Extremely obviously unfinished and unpolished
- At the moment, feels generic
- 3 hours... I found a book

"Early Impression" are impressions on early access games available on Steam. We take into account that the game isn't complete, but since it's up for sale, we analyse the current build (as of the recording) from the consumer's perspective.

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Steam Store page for Darkwood

Friday, 25 July 2014

Darkwood: Early Impressions

Darkwood: Early Impressions

Video created on version: Alpha 1.0

As an early access Darkwood is fairly solid. I didn't find any bugs or glitches, and the game never crashed. It does suffer from some optimization issues, mainly the long load time. As for the game it self, it's pretty enjoyable, if not, at least a unique experience.

Darkwood takes the survival horror genre and put it into a top down perspective, with an excellent aesthetic style. Visually the game is of a high caliber. The background and foreground elements are detailed and stylized, while still maintaining visual clarity so the player can easily decipher what items are interactable. The game's sound design is equally admirable. Your footsteps sound realistic and heavy, with the ground it treads on matching the steps you take. You'll hear random twig snaps, and kicks of pebbles. Crows in the distance, and animals in the shrubs, with a light but moody sound track to kick in the appropriate moments, and you have a game that's a real treat for the ears, as well as the eyes. The game's sinister atmosphere is further echoed by the use of light, both for visual interest as well as using light as a mechanics on it's own.

The game also features an interesting chapter by chapter story structure as well, with the current build being the prologue. With out giving too much away, let's say at the game's first turning point, a fairly major and unexpected reviel will instantly grab your curiosity.

Though the game is quite enjoyable even at this early stage, it's not with out it's faults. On the technical side. long load times can drive a person's patience, and the game's lack of features and options is also worth noting. Mechanically speaking once you start playing with the more sandboxy elements of the game, you could find yourself in long stretches wandering seemingly aimlessly, wondering where your next objective is, or if you're even going the "right" way. To be fair, this isn't so much a problem with Darkwood it self, but rather, a common issue with survival games in general.

Overall the game is a quality product already, and I can only see it getting better with time. I believe I can safely recommend Darkwood if you are interested in the idea of a top-down sandbox-ish survival horror.

- Great graphics
- Interesting plot
- A new take on survival horror
- Great sound design
- Good lighting

- Long load times
- Can get boring when searching for next objective
- Limited features and options

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Steam Store page for the game

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Early Look: Deer God

Early Look: Deer God

Deer God is a gorgeous and unique open world survival game. It's one of the few, if not only 2D side scroller in the genre. The theme of the game it self is quite interesting and original on it own.

In the "Early Look" series, we showcase games that are either on Steam Greenlight 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 of the game since it's still in early stages. How ever we will offer some feedback based on our experience.

This series is made possible through the generous submissions from developers to our channel, or early demos made available. If you'd like your in development game featured here feel free to contact us through twitter or email! All contact information listed in the "about" section of this channel.

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Steam Greenlight for Deer God

Kickstarter for Deer God

Official Website Deer God

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Interstellar Marines: Impressions /w GamingFTL / FedoraG4mer

Interstellar Marines may come off as a generic tactical shooter upon first impressions, but once you start playing, you'll see that this game has a few interesting mechanics that helps separate this game from the plethora of other tactical FPSs on the market. The game features a very interesting, and realistic lighting system, where some times the map will put players into total darkness. This will force players to start using their flashlight which will of course give them away to enemy fire. Certainly an interesting take on a risk-reward system for a tactical FPS. The game also features mid-match dynamic level alterations. The game map will change, closing and opening new choke points and paths, mid match, in real time. This has a dynamic effect on the game field. Lastly the game features a ridiculous amounts of capture points in it's game mode. This came off as a negative, almost as a design flaw at first, but the more I played I saw what the designer had in mind. This tactical shooter encourages spiting up and covering ground, rather than the usual, 7 man in a choke point cluster F*** that the usual tactical shooter tend to lean towards.

The game's audio, and visual is impressive, and it's attention to detail as well as it's lighting is equally so.

The game is not with out it's faults though. In it's current stage of early access, there is no single player campaign, minimal tutorial, only one game mode, and only the default rifles hurt this game's variety. The game also has some net code issues as it has noticeable and undeniable bullet lag. Interstellar Marines also face the hurdle of developing a robust and active community, in the face of hundreds if not thousands of other tactical shooters, fighting for the same audience. Currently the game's community is active, but relatively small. Only 1-3 servers will any sort of population at any given time, or even less.

But overall, Interstellar Marines is a very enjoyable game that has a pile of potential! I think the game should change it's name as it's incredibly generic, and also promote it's unique light and dark play more to help interest more people.

- Unique Light / Dark mechanic
- Unique mid-game battlefield transformation mechanic
- Impressive visuals, especially the lighting
- Very enjoyable and playable, even as an early access

- Needs more variety
- Net code needs a lot of working out
- Needs to build a larger community

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Steam Store page for the game:

Please check out these amazing people from the video! (The gender of your choice will like you more for it! Scientifically proven!)



Saturday, 19 July 2014

Abyss Odyssey: Impressions

Abyss Odyssey: Impressions

Abyss Odyssey blends multiple genres to create some thing very unique. If I was to sum the game up I would call it "Super DarkSoulsVania 2 Turbo". It blends rpg, action platforming, and fighting game sensibilities. The fighting mechanics are deep with a lot of elements for the player to master. Abyss Odyssey is actually quite a challenging game that demands precision mastery of your attacks, as well as your platforming skills.

The game also features many unique mechanics that really helps separate this game from the heard. On death, you get a 2nd chance by having a normal, human solder to take your place. He's basically a nerfed version of other playable characters, but if you manage to reach an alter with him, you can resurrect your hero and continue your journey. If your solder dies, that's game over, the game state is reset to the beginning. You can also capture enemy souls and become them, allowing you to play as a huge number of creatures, all with their own move sets, all with their own combat style. This game is incredibly diverse. Lastly, one of the most interesting features that makes this game so unique is the ability to work with all your fellow source hunters who are playing this game to unlock new things in Abyss Odyssey. Every time some one kills the end boss while online, they contribute to the destruction of the stone mask in the game. Once the mask is destroyed, whole new elements of this game become unlocked. This is a brilliant idea that helps with replayability

Throw in some local and online multiplayer, add some classic Mucha inspired art nouveau, with a pinch of punishment, and we have one of the most unique, and gorgeous action platformer that has ever graced gaming culture.

9001% recommended.

- Gorgeous Mucha inspired art nouveau visual style
- Great sound track
- Incredibly deep mechanics
- Diverse rogue gallery of playable creatures
- Unique blend of rpg, action platforming, and fighting game sensibilities
- Challenging but fair
- Very replayable

- Large learning curb
- Can feel sluggish at first
- Some animation quirks
- Could pose frustrating for some

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Steam Store page for the game:

Friday, 18 July 2014

Diesel Stormers: Group Impressions -FT: GamingFTL, JermEx, Swashbuckling Sir

Diesel Stormers: Group Impressions -FT: GamingFTL, JermEx, Swashbuckling Sir

Some friends and I take a look at Diesel Stormers! You'll see the game at it's best and at it's worst, as we discuss Diesel Stormer's many mechanics, and it's strengths and it's weaknesses. Oh, we also goof off and talk nonsensically about Dragon Ball Z as well, but that's besides the point.

The "Impressions" series is created to analyse and critique games to let you guys know what it's all about, and if it's worth the asking price. We record our commentary live, and feature full, unedited footage to give you a natural, and honest perspective into the game.

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Steam Store page for the game:

Please check out these amazing people from the video! (The gender of your choice will like you more for it! Scientifically proven!)



Swashbuckling Sir