Review: Seasons after Fall

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.

Read my full review here.

Review: Hue

Limbow.

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.

Read my full review here.

Review: Livelock

Humans in disguise.

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.

Read my full review here.

Review: Obduction

Pyst 2: Juttery Buggy Too.

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.

Read my full review here.

Review: Quadrilateral Cowboy

If Wes Anderson made a hacking game…

I’m typically wary of any title that features any type of hacking or coding, as they tend to be monotonous, but I’m so very glad I didn’t pass up on Quadrilateral Cowboy. This adventure centers around a group of three women in the 1980s as they take various jobs hacking and stealing information.

The jobs start simple enough, only requiring connecting your devices to ports and pressing open, before quickly adding in coding, controlling robots, and even jump pads that launch you across the air. You’ll be hacking in apartments, skyscrapers, and even in space. No two levels feel alike, which kept the experience feeling fresh from start to finish, which took me about five hours total.

If you’ve ever played Blendo Games other adventure game, Thirty Flights of Loving, then you’ll quickly recognize the same boxy yet attractive art style, and hip Wes Anderson-like characters and color schemes, only this time mixed with lots of hacking. The hacking is done somewhat realistically via using various programs on a portable computer such as telnet and even remote control robots, though calling it hacking is a stretch as it is bit closer to basic coding, though that isn’t a bad thing.

Read my full review here.

Gwent Might End Up Being My New Go-To Card Game

Anyone that knows me well knows that I love Hearthstone, considering I’ve spent at least $300 on card packs and expansions to the game. I’d even guess that it was my most played game in 2015, so for me to say that I think Gwent may be able to pull me away from Blizzard’s juggernaut franchise is a big deal.

First off, let me say that I was never really big into card games prior to Hearthstone. Friends tried to teach me Magic the Gathering and other physical card games, but I could never get into them. I’ve also never played any of the Witcher games, but the same could be said forWarcraft titles. I went into my preview of Gwent with a bit of apprehension, thinking I’d need to have played the series to understand and enjoy it. That, thankfully, wasn’t the case.

Read my full hands-on preview from E3 2016 here.

Cuphead’s Platforming Levels are Old-School Hard, Repetitive

Before E3 all our hands-on previews of Cuphead have just been boss battles, but we got a chance to take recently revealed platforming levels for a spin and left unimpressed.

While the game’s mechanics lend themselves well to platforming, the two available levels felt uninspired, repetitive, and old-school hard. If you’ve played the old-school Konami classic Contra series, then you know what to expect here: enemies come at you from all sides of the screen at a constant pace forcing you to advance slowly while shooting in every direction and dodging bullets. I saw very few members of the press making it through the platforming levels, as they are truly difficult, but after I few tries I was able to with ease. I guess others just need to ‘git gud.’

Read my full hands-on impressions here.

Anger And SmiIes: Bloodstained Is The Castlevania Game We’ve Been Waiting For

“They can try,” Koji “Iga” Igarashi remarked when I asked him about the rumblings I’ve heard of Konami possibly working on a sequel to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. This was a game that Iga himself wrote the scenario for, programmed, and helped direct. Iga’s translator was seemingly angry at the mere mention of the sequel being a possibility. They stated that Iga, “still knows Konami insiders, and would have heard if such was happening.”

Iga was at Xbox’s E3 booth, showing off his crowdfunded spiritual sequel to theCastlevania series, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, when I spoke with him. I’m happy to report it looks like this is the Castlevania game we have been waiting for in everything but name. It has all the things you’d expect to find: great music, a gothic aesthetic, ghoulish enemies, and massive bosses. Practically everything is here, right down to candles that can be broken to reveal items.

Read my full E3 hands-on preview here.