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.
On-rails shooters have all but died, with only a handful releasing in the past decade perhaps due to the decline of the arcade. I absolutely adore the genre having grown up on the Area 51 and House of the Dead series, so my words should hold some weight when I say this is one of the deeper games in the genre; that is, if you can get over its ridiculous content, which is a big if unless you’re really into seeing child-like anime girls in their underwear (in which case, this is probably a must-buy for you).
Double Peace is a sequel to the original Gal-Gun (or Gal Gun or Gal*Gun) which was never localized outside of Japan. However, this game can be enjoyed without having played the original. The story of the original is explained at the start of the game, as this game takes place at the very same school, just with all new characters and enemies.
This game largely follows the same story: An angel/cupid in training is tasked with shooting the main character, Hodai, with a single love shot, but ends up blasting him with a lifetime’s worth by accident. This causes every female in his school to become lovestruck and obsessed with him. This also means that Hodai has only 24 hours to find his one true love, as he apparently can’t ever be shot with another arrow. Thus he has quite the dilemma on his hands.
The classic gory car series is back, though it doesn’t feel quite as edgy anymore. You’ll find the typical juvenile humour the series is known for, such as the ‘four skins’ pack you get for pre-ordering, and a hidden ‘smelly bush’ to find in every level. And who could forget running over innocent people and animals? It’s the type of humour and violent content that stopped shocking us since Grand Theft Auto blew up back in the PS2 era.
Instead being a straight racing game, Carmageddon Max Damage lets you play it however you want. Racing killing all the other opponents, or just driving around aimlessly… the choice is yours. The only problem with that is that without defined goals, I wasn’t sure what exactly the game wanted me to do. I drove around for ages, running over any living creature in my path. I suppose it is a similar setup to the open-world Tony Hawk games, in that each level will have things to do and hidden stuff to find. All the same, more defined goals certainly wouldn’t hurt, as I felt like I was aimlessly driving in circles. The driving isn’t all that thrilling either, as the controls are rather clunky. That seems to be a staple of the series, though, maybe it’s on purpose.
“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.
Let me put it bluntly—this PS4 exclusive is one of the worst games I’ve played this year. Other than character designs, there isn’t a single thing about Shadow of the Beast that can be considered anything close to good. I found myself laughing out loud multiple times at decisions made by the development team, wondering how they thought they were good ideas.
The first time I laughed was at the very beginning of the game as the player character is being lead around on a leash like a kinky BDSM-pet roleplay. After slaughtering some monks who don’t fight back, you come to a baby in a crib. Seeing this triggers some memory and you break free from your chains as your captor grabs the baby and starts to run off but not before you wound the evildoer.
On the final day of PAX East, I woke up after getting a measly four or so hours of sleep. I’d been ill (since birth, but also sick for the past couple of days), my back hurt, my legs hurt, and I had a headache. I had two goals in mind for the day: Try out PlayStation VR for the first time, and not shit myself — a goal I’ve had even since returning home since I’m still sick.
It turns out I succeeded at both, but not before I literally hit the woman demonstrating PS VR to me in her face. I didn’t do it on purpose, of course, but it still happened.
At the beginning of 2016, I listed Battleborn as one of my most anticipated titles (as well as Fable Legends, RIP) and after playing the open beta I can easily say it still is.
If you’re not familiar, Battleborn is the game Gearbox Software founder Randy Pitchford described as “FPS; hobby-grade coop campaign; genre-blended, multi-mode competitive e-sports; meta-growth, choice + epic Battleborn Heroes!” What that bukkake of buzzwords was supposed to tell us, I’ll never know. What I do know is that this is a hero-based multiplayer first-person shooter that is one partDestiny, one part Borderlands, and one part MOBA; with two modes that feel like totally different games.
If you like or have an interest in any of those words, buy this game. Don’t even bother reading the rest of this review as you’re only wasting time precious time you could be spending with Enter the Gungeon.