Aldershot

Check out Aldershot on his YouTube Channel.

The Luckiest T-Shirt

Check out our own Dan Morton and his Magic: the Gathering Podcast.

JermEx Machina

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MichaelBtheGameGenie

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rollers of the Realm : Impressions



Rollers of the Realm takes 2 very different genres and mixes it up into one game. It takes the party building. character progression, and narrative, of RPGs, and put it into a pinball setting. Each ball represent it's own character with it's own traits, stats, and specials. Each pinball table plays out more like an RPG quest than a traditional pinball table, where quest goals, and some times navigation are designed with precedence over classic pinball score attack.

The game looks great overall. Each table / environment are well detailed and stylized in the expected RPG motifs, with some pretty impressive art design and lighting. Though some of the character profiles, the 2D illustrations, I found to be not quite as strong as the 3D models. The sound design is what you'd expect from pinball games, but throw in some grunts as you hit enemy mobs, and other classic RPG sounds when you do RPG things.

As a game on it's own it's pretty enjoyable. The mixing of 2 very different genres itself grabs attention, and certainly playing an RPG based pinball game I was ecstatic at first! But as I played more I realized, through the blending of 2 genres, certain aspects of both were lost in the process. The character progression in the game is very simple when compared to other RPGs, while the tables are less exciting and creative than other pinball games due to it's need to be designed around a quest, or a goal, rather than score attack. So as a game on it's own, it's enjoyable, but when compared to either of the 2 genre it's blending it can leave a player wanting.

Overall Rollers of the Realm is a very curious game, that the idea of blending pinball with RPG alone should turn some heads. It's enjoyable in it's own right, but might not hold it's own when compared to either of the genre it's blending. But if you are looking for a pinball game with RPG elements, there's not too many other options out there, and you could do much worst than Rollers of the Realm.


Pros:

- A very interesting blend of genres
- Good Looking Pinball tables
- Enjoyable under it's own merit
- Easy to learn, very accessible

Cons:

- Good game overall, but doesn't excel as either an RPG or Pinball
- Simple progression system
- Some Awkward tables



Follow me on Twitter:
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Steam page for Rollers of the Realm
http://store.steampowered.com/app/262470/


Friday, January 30, 2015

Proteus: Quick Look (indie game open world)



Proteus is about pretty colors, pretty sounds, and walking. A lot of walking. There's really not a whole lot of mechanics to speak out side of exploring a randomly generated world. As you explore, you can bump into random events and objects that through your "interactions" the music and sounds will change in response. The mechanic of the game is simply walking and exploring.

I think it would be pretty fair to say it's not a game for every one. For those who's used to mi-maxing, meta-gaming, or twitching through their games, you probably won't find Proteus all that appealing. But for those who like their games a little bit more light hearted, simpler, and rather relax when they game, Proteus might be an interesting choice.

The randomly generated worlds are quite pleasing on the eye with a fantastic art design behind it. It does 2.5D graphics expertly. The color pallet is very relaxing and appealing, and it even has dynamic weather effects. The sound and music are also equally praise worthy.

For those who don't mind minimal mechanics but really enjoy the exploration aspect of gaming, then I am please to let you know, Proteus does a great job and mixing the world up with each play through, almost always showing some new random thingy or McBobber to find in the world, and for the explorers out there, that might be enough to satisfy your gaming needs.

Overall Proteus shows an interesting concept and pushes the idea of "Non-game" games. It won't be for every one, but for those who might be interested in these sorts of games, Proteus is one of the best out there.

Pros:
- Gorgeous randomly generated worlds
- Great art style
- Great audio
- Very relaxing

Cons:
- Minimal mechanics
- Not for every one
- Can not save current world you're exploring (new world every time you play)


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

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

Get Proteus on Steam:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/219680/






Monday, January 26, 2015

Gravity Ghost (PC): Impressions

Gravity Ghost is a physics based platformer that utilizes gravity as it's core mechanic. It's a very unique take on the genre that has a ton of charm and wonder.

Each stage you visit functions as it's own puzzle that will feature various gravity and physics based puzzles. You'll be going through stage to stage, unlocking stars, spirit animals, and an assortment of items and special powers. As you unlock more areas and gain new powers the story will start to unfold. Though it could be argued that Gravity Ghost is "arcady" at it's core, it does manage to tell an interesting narrative, which is something "arcady" games tend to lack.

The Puzzle like stages of Gravity ghost are mostly well designed, and offers a higher than expected degree of variety. When I first started this game I expected the game to get repetitive the more I play, but was surprised by how creative the developers were in designing each area. Though many stages will have repeating mechanics, they're offered in interesting and often unexpected ways to solve a puzzle. The puzzles them selves are very accessible as I never found myself stuck for too long, but still satisfied when I manage to solve it. The puzzles are well designed, and creative too.

Artistically, Gravity Ghost shows an almost crayon child's drawing presentation. It's whimsical,and very easy on the eyes. It's one of the game's most attractive qualities and has the audio to match. Gravity ghost is a lot of eye candy, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Though the game has a ton of potential, and I can safely say I've enjoyed my time with it, it's still not perfect. Gravity Ghost comes with the main campaign and that's about it. There's no bonus features, extra modes, or even a very good options and settings menu.

Overall Gravity Ghost is a fun light romp, with a ton of charm. It's probably not going to appeal to those who is looking to meta-game and mix-max, or twitch their way to victory, but for any one who is looking for a more easy going experience in their gaming Gravity Ghost would be a pretty good choice.

Pros:
- Wonderful art and music
- Good use of physics based puzzles
- Inventive puzzle design
- Very accessible

Cons:
- Lacks features and options
- Might be considered too "casual" for some


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

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

Steam page for Gravity Ghost
http://store.steampowered.com/app/251490/

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Robot Roller Derby Disco Dodgeball: Group Impressions /w Mr.DudePupper, Exotix, Ginger Dragon

Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball is a self described game. It is exactly as the title states. You play dodgeball as robots on wheels, all in a disco setting. What more do you really want?

If you've played dodgeball when you were young, or perhaps playing it in gym class today, you'll be familiar with the rules. Take ball, throw at opponent, knock opponent out. If you catch an enemy ball the person who tossed it is out. Pretty simple but also really easy to get into and very fun. The game also mixes things up with tons of different maps and more play modes than I originally expected. Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball also features single play mode to keep you busy on lower population times.

Indie multi-player games tend to have a hard time holding a consistent community, but Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball seem to almost always have a few players online at least. The only exception I saw was during the late late night on week days, which is understandable. But if you play during the day and you'll almost always find players. This is a great sign that the game is healthy, people are enjoying it, and has potential to grow.

The great thing about Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball is that it has enough twitch gameplay to keep many "hardcore" gamers satisfied, while simple enough that even the most casual player can get the hang of after a single round. It's very accessible yet offers a reasonable skill ceiling to climb.

Though there is plenty to like about Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball, there are some hic-ups along the way. Bugs can plague the game, and they are quite noticeable. They vary from being as severe as floating off to no where, to as minor as having to hit "esc" to start moving. It is in early access and I understand this, but since the game is asking for your hard earned money, I think it's justified mentioning these things at the very least.

Overall Robot Roller Derby Disco Dodgeball is a great little game that has some addictive qualities to it. It's accessible, it's twitchy, and it's a whole lot of fun! (Just make sure to swat those nasty bugs :P)

Pros:
- Accessible
- Twitchy for the seasonal gamer
- Well themed
- Healthy community

Cons:
- Can be buggy at times





Mr.DudePuppet
https://www.youtube.com/TheMrDudepuppet
http://www.twitch.tv/dudepuppet

Exotix
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHMQBi8atK8z2VEIT_DVZfw
http://www.hitbox.tv/exotix

Ginger Dragon
https://www.youtube.com/GingerDragon87
http://www.twitch.tv/gingerdragon87


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

Steam Store page for Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball
http://store.steampowered.com/app/270450/

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Resident Evil HD Remaster: Impressions

RE1 Remaster is basically the GameCube port to the PC, but it does come with a few extra bells and whistles. The most obvious is the up res'ed textures, backgrouds, and overall resolution. There's also a new control scheme and a even new character skins.

If you're an old timer looking for an excuse to replay one of your childhood favorites, RE1 Remaster won't disappoint. All of the classic tank control, hallway rerunning, and key collecting goodness remain intact. I do recommend turning the difficulty to hard on your first go if you are looking for that "true" classic RE experience. (Normal would definitely be considered easy to series vets)

If you are new to classic RE, this would be a great time to see what all the hoohaa is all about. Playing the old PSX version for the younger generation might be difficult due to the dated look, but now that we have a much superior visual product that still has the classic mechanics, it can potentially show case that these older mechanics still has merit in today's gaming world. But be aware, if you are new it won't play like modern games. There will be a large degree of backtracking, and confusion at first. But if you can get over that hump, I think most can get a lot of enjoyment out of RE1 Remaster

I've said plenty of positive things about this game so far, but it is not perfect. Though it does run mostly well, at a consistent 60FPS, it does dip down due to a loading bug every now and then. It happens randomly and not always in the same location. It is noticeable. Though most of the textures and models have been up res'ed expertly, there are still some props in the game that has very low res or stretched textures that make it look very out of place.

Overall I think RE1 Remaster was done well for the most part. I'm enjoying it and can only recommend it to any one curious. But do know I'm a classic RE fan, played it since the PSX days, so I will have some nostalgia bias.

Pros:
- Feels and plays just like classic RE1
- Updated visuals are mostly well done
- New features such and additional skins are welcomed
- Still one of the freakiest games out there

Cons:
- Some technical bugs on load
- Might be frustrating for the uninitiated
- We need a Resident Evil 2 Remake (pls Capcom)



Follow me on Twitter:
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Steam Store Resident Evil / Bio Hazard HD Remaster
http://store.steampowered.com/app/304240/

Sunday, January 18, 2015

H1Z1: Early Impressions

H1Z1 is, yes, another open world zombie survival game. If you love this genre, H1Z1 might interest you, but if you don't, it'll do nothing to change your mind.

After a rocky first day, H1Z1 recouped and start it's day 2 quite strong. With many technical hitches resolved in 24 hours. I must say, the devs on H1Z1 are some of the faster responders to the dreaded "day 1 launch" melt down that most online game faces.

On day 2 of the game's launch, it plays fairly well, with already a decent amount of content to explore. Drivable cars, dynamic weather, servers full of people, zombies, wildlife, crafting, and loot! Not every thing is perfect, and the rough edges will be quite noticeable but I must admit, H1Z1 is one of the more feature full survival game on launch. For an early access game, H1Z1 is already quite playable, minus a few rare crashes, and some performance hic ups.

The game plays as you would expect if you've ever played any survival open world game. It doesn't do any thing too out standing, or unique to it's own, but what it does is, take some of the best elements of other survival games, and mash them into one.

H1Z1 under it's own merit is a good game, even at this stage of development, however, some have called into question it's pay model. Currently, it's $20.00 to get into the early access, will be a Free to Play when fully released, but the controversial aspect is the fact that you can pay real world money to call for Air drops, which obviously has a huge impact on the game play. I don't really want to spend too much time discussing this part, but if I was to summarize how I feel about it quickly, I'd say "wait and see".

Even with out using any air drops (I havent used mine yet) I'm still enjoying the game for what it is. Rough yes, but the devs have proven to be working diligently

Overall I think H1Z1 has an interesting future. I feel like it's off to a good start (besides the hell of a first day) and the only real question is, "will the pay model be fair in the end?"

Pros:
- Does what most other survival game does
- Fairly well featured with lots to do
- Friendly Community
- Responsive devs

Cons:
- Shows early access "rough edges"
- Doesn't do anything uniquely it's own
- Pay model under heavy scrutiny

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

Follow me on Steam:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/295110

Steam Store page for The H1Z1
http://store.steampowered.com/app/295110

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Receiver: Impressions

Receiver: Impressions

Receiver certainly is an interesting take on the FPS genre, but this time, the "S" stands for simulation. Rather than your standard run and gun gameplay most FPS features, Receiver is much more deliberate where the focus isn't just on the shooting, but also on the gun itself.

In Receiver you must manage every part of the gun, the slider, the hammer, the magazine, it's chamber, etc. If you don't take care of your gun, or understand how each part functions you will die... a lot. The game does a good job at simulating what it takes to handle a real gun. Due to it's vast amount of controls there is a definite learning curve with this game. It will not play like other FPSs you've played previously.

The game is only $5usd, which isn't asking for a lot, but do know there are limited amounts of options, features, and content. There is only one play mode, only 2 types of enemies, and not much in the way of customization. Although the game does it's best to incentivize reply with it's procedurally generated maps, enemies, and load out, and each play through will be different from the last, but it will be "different" with a lot of very familiar assets.

Certainly the game is challenging, and at first may even be frustrating to some, but it's also very rewarding. Once you manage to get over the difficulty and control hump, the game will feel like none other you've played. Each kill feels like a huge victory, and the game does a good job at instilling a legitimate sense of tension and danger around every corner.

Overall Receiver is a quality product at a low price point. The content might be limited, but through the creativity of it's mechanics, there are also endless possibilities to play through.

Pros:
- Procedurally generated maps and load out offers endless play potential
- Very unique mechanics and concept
- Best gun simulation I've played (only gun simulation I've played?)
- Challenging
- Very fair price

Cons:
- Limited content
- Moderate visuals
- Large learning curve