A young girl’s voice tells you, a seed, to possess a fox and explore a forest to find the guardians of the seasons. Finding them will grant players the power to swap between seasons on the fly.
That is the basic premise of Seasons after Fall‘s story, which as you can imagine makes little sense, as the reasoning behind everything is never fully explained—at least as far as character motivations are concerned. At least there’s a clear conclusion.
The story isn’t why you’ll want to play this though, the wonderful art style, animations, and calming gameplay is.
A young boy named Hue goes in search of his mother who has gone missing. Along the way, he discovers the ability to change the color of the world around him which makes objects of the same color disappear, and thus Hue can walk through where they were as if they don’t exist.
Swapping colors with a color wheel via the right stick, basic platforming, and moving around some boxes are the only interactions you’ll have playing Hue. While simplicity isn’t a bad thing, a majority of the game’s puzzles are far too easy as they consist of just being able to recognize colors, swapping to the intended color, and then proceeding. Only around the last 10% of the game’s puzzles required any thought or skill on my part, and I don’t exactly consider myself a brainiac. As it only took me around three hours to finish this, I was left disappointed with the lack of challenge.
What if Transformers were really just humans that transferred their consciousnesses into robots, actually couldn’t transform, and did lots of shooting with guns in a twin-stick shooter? Well, then you’d have Livelock, a game not to be confused with the identity-theft protection service LifeLock.
I’ve played plenty of twin-stick shooters, and Livelock is a pretty enjoyable one. You play as one of three robots, each with unique weapons and abilities. One robot punches has shields and plays the role of a tank, another heals, and another is a ranged shooter. As the game supports three players simultaneously, playing with one of each character is ideal but not necessary.
Rarely, if ever, have I played a game that asked hard hitting existential and ethical questions like The Turing Test. What is human? What is free will and does free will actually exist? Is immortality good or bad? Can computers do wrong?
Cyan, the developers of Myst and Riven, are back with Obduction, an adventure game that takes place on an alien world after being abducted. While that sounds like a winning combination, this somehow managed to be one of the worst games I’ve played this year for a multitude of reasons.
First and foremost, this is supposed to be a puzzle game, but the puzzles rarely consist of little more than finding a hidden button or lever to press to be able to advance. Half of the puzzles involve using teleports that also change the world around you, something that isn’t made obvious as sometimes the changes are subtle.
Thing is, every time you use one of these puzzles you’re greeted with a loading screen, which admittedly looks great, but seeing loading screens hundreds of times in modern games is frankly unacceptable. I’d wager that a good third of my playthrough was spent loading, and that is with the game installed on a top of the line solid-state drive; for those with standard hard drives, I’ve seen evidence of upwards of two-minute load times per loading screen.
Most of our readers have probably heard of Attack on Titan at least once by now, but in case you’ve been living under a rock it’s a popular manga-turned-anime that follows the last remnants of humanity living in a city surrounded by walls to protect them from an outside world has been overrun by giant nude (but lacking genitalia) giants. With this release, players get to experience that as a game. Dynasty Warriors developerOmega Force finally brings the franchise to the PC and consoles, and while it is easily the best gamified iteration yet, it suffers many of the same issues as the previously released 3DS game based on the series.
Attack on Titan is one of those franchises that sounds like it would be great as a video gamebut if you stop to think about it, that isn’t the case. A majority of the anime has only one of two things happening: characters talking or having long drawn out introspectives, or killing titans. The actual killing of titans almost always plays out the same way. Characters use their specialized gear to zip through the sky and then slice the back of titans’ necks to kill them—rinse, repeat. While this game captures all that, the fighting of titans is so simple and repetitive that it becomes a real bore after just a few missions.
Unlike other recently released fight games (looking at you Street Fighter), The King of Fighters XIV manages to release as a full-fledged product with all the bells and whistles one would expect when buying a fighting game. In this package, you’ll find 50 characters to choose from each with unique play styles and moves, a story mode with 3D animated cut scenes, various multiplayer modes, training, and some challenge modes. While it isn’t perfect, it makes other fighting games on the market look like rip-offs with their lack of content and gross amounts of DLC.
This is the first time that a core King of Fighters game has been fully rendered in 3D (matches still play out on a 2D playing field like the other games in the series), though the graphics aren’t anything to write home about. By comparison to Street Fighter, they practically look last generation. Characters movements, animations, and stage backgrounds just aren’t as interesting or eye-catching, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a solid fighter.
What I’m about to say may shock you, but Metroid Prime: Federation Force is the best FPS for the Nintendo 3DS, and perhaps one of my favourite FPSs of all time. If you’re a fan of the Metroid series, there is plenty to see, including Samus, who shows up in various cutscenes. If you’re not, you’re still in for a treat, especially if you have friends to play with.
Anyone who has read anything about this game knows that many fans of the series weren’t happy with its announcement, as they had anticipated that Nintendo would reveal a new “proper” Metroid platformer of the sort that they had been dreaming of. After the announcement, there was mass down-voting of trailers, with people complaining that the game was ugly and that they hated the chibi art style.There was even a petition to get the game canceled. Were those people justified in their concerns and behaviors?
The first time I played The Elder Scrolls Legends was at PAX East this year, at which time I called it “a brown, clunky, cash-in” and while must admit that I do feel a bit warmer towards it now that I’ve been playing the beta, I stand by those words.
Elder Scrolls Legends suffers from what most Bethesda games suffer from: it lacks personality while having decent gameplay. When compared side-by-side to Blizzard’s Hearthstone, a game from which it takes many of its mechanics (perhaps those are from Magic: The Gathering, I don’t know), it just looks so lifeless. The one and only playing field is just a dull brown scroll, with most of the screen being similar shades of brown. The cards themselves have decent artwork, but the colours tend to be a bit muted. Worst of all this game features awful voice acting—which seems to be a Bethesda staple at this point.
Have you ever heard of Shiren the Wanderer? I hadn’t until this game, but apparently, this is the fifth game in the series and a spinoff of the Mystery Dungeon games. I had never played any game in the Mystery Dungeon series, not even the cutePokemon ones, as I’d heard they were rather brutal JRGP dungeon crawlers that took lots of time to learn. I heard correctly.
First, the good, Shiren’s retro-like graphics practically pop off the screen, especially on the original vita’s OLED screen. If you like 16-bit or early PlayStation 1 JRPG pixel graphics, you’ll be quite pleased here, aside from the atrocious character portraits that display whenever characters talk – these look like a child drew them. The musical score is easy on the ears, and the characters are likable, such as your sidekick, who is a talking mongoose, or a girl wearing a panda onesie who offers to join you on your journey – for a price. Shiren is also on the Vita, which is a plus for anyone who owns the Vita, since it has so few games released for it these days.