Review: Anima: Gate of Memories

Nier on a budget

I love Nier, so you can probably imagine I was pretty thrilled to find a $20 game that could pass for its spiritual sequel. While playing I kept thinking, “I’m going to call this the sleeper hit of the year — I can’t believe how great this is” until about the last quarter of the game where bosses start to get a bit too cheap.

While not perfect, for the price, this game is a steal.

Read the full review here.

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Review: Omnibus

If Speed attempted to be a dank meme and failed.

OmniBus is one of those games made for the Twitch streamers and YouTubers who overreact to everything. The game has purposefully broken physics meant to be funny but instead ends up negatively impacting the gameplay, unlike games such as Goat Simulator and QWOP that pull this feat off.

The story mode has you playing as OmniBus, a personified superhero bus. There isn’t much story to be had aside from brief dialogues at the start and end of each level which mostly consist of telling you your objective and thanking you for completing it. But no one is buying this game for the story in the first place.

Read my full review here.

Review: On Rusty Trails

You play as Elvis, whose house is destroyed, so he sets out on a dangerous platforming adventure to get a new one via his warranty. Along the way Elvis walks right through the middle of a race war between his people, the red triangles, and their neighbors, the blue monsters.

Over across 100 levels, you hop between platforms which you stick to as if magnetically, allowing you to run around all sides without fear of falling. Elvis acquires a blue-monster disguise early on that allows him to jump on blue areas that would otherwise disappear when he approaches. Inversely, red spaces can’t be used when in the disguise. Even the stages themselves are ‘racist’ in this game. Luckily, you can instantly switch between colors on the fly with the press of a button.

Check out my full review here.

Review: Please, Don’t Touch Anything (Oculus Rift)

Take one part MacGyver, one part Alan Turing, one part the hidden pictures section in Highlights, and a whole bunch of pop culture references, mix them in a bowl of virtual reality, and you’ve got Please, Don’t Touch Anything, the Oculus Rift-exclusive VR remake of the game of the same name.

The original was 2D pixel art, had you looking straight ahead, and costs $5, so is the remake worth $15?

Click here to read the full review and find out.

Review: The Gallery – Episode 1: The Call of Starseed (HTC Vive)

Due to the short development time developers have had with the Vive and Steam’s seemingly non-existent quality control, most things available for the Vive are cynical Unity store asset flips or simple basic experiences.

Currently, there are around 200 different pieces of software on Steam for the HTC Vive — and of the ones I’ve played, I can honestly say that The Gallery is my favorite, and the only game built with motion controlled virtual reality in mind that resembles a traditional experience.

Read my full review at Destructoid.

Night in the Woods is an adventure game for millennials who shrug at Hot Topic

When I wrote about a non-hipster walking simulator for Cliffy B just before PAX, I had no idea there was already a game that was basically that, only it’s 2D and features colorful animals.

Night in the Woods is a colorful adventure game about a 20-year-old cat named Mae that just moved to her parents’ place after dropping out of college. Mae hopes to reconnect with her old friends and the city she left behind, but quickly finds that nothing stays the same, even after only a couple of short years.

Shrug at my impressions here.

Gonner was hands down my favorite game at PAX East 2016

A roguelike platformer where you’re trying to find trinkets to cheer up your only friend — that just happens to be a giant, land-bound whale named Sally — was my favorite game at PAX East this year. Are you surprised? How can something with such a cute premise not win over my heart?

Playing as Ikk, you’ll be running through procedurally-generated levels that are seemingly drawn on the screen as you move, meaning the level in all directions will be invisible until you get closer to it. Think of the ‘fog of war’ effect found in most RTS games, only it is pitch black aside from enemies. This works well with the odd, minimalist art style that feels like a mix of a The Behemoth and Tim Burton, only with fewer colors on screen at once. Beautiful and wholly original to say the least.

Check out my full impressions here.

Ghost Song blew away my expectations, made me die a lot

I have to be honest, I’ve been a skeptic of Ghost Song since it was announced and then crowdfunded. People around the internet have reacted as if it weas God’s gift to gamers and the second coming of Samus, and I just thought it looked dull and mediocre at best.

Well, I’m here to admit, for the first time ever, I was wrong. Dead wrong. I’m prepared to be stripped naked and paraded through the streets behind a nun dressed as Ridley with a ‘shame bell’ while you all throw rocks at me. Ghost Song is shaping up to be fantastic.

Check out my full impressions here.

Is it fun to beat protesters and molotov the police in Riot – Civil Unrest?

I’ve had my eye on Riot – Civil Unreset since it was announced in 2013 via a crowdfunding campaign. I’m a big fan of politics – social and otherwise – and can’t think of a single other game that lets players take a somewhat realistic look at the mob mentality of riots.

During my brief time with the game I chose to play as the police, which consists of a variety of units like the ones you’d find in an RTS (which makes sense as the game controls similarly to your modern ones).

Check out my full hands-on impressions here.