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Posts by darkstarmatryx
Mstar Games have taken what made Space Invaders great, and then went and made it even better. That is Xenocide. I say that emphatically, this game really captures the feel of its inspiration. If you want to know what they did to up the anti on the classic game read on. You know you want to.
Alright first up let us start with the first thing you’ll see when you start this up, the Menu. Unlike other games the menu is set up along the top and you must shoot the choices like you would the aliens in the game. It is a small and simple thing, but a nice unique touch.
Now lets get to the game modes. You have Arcade or Classic. Now Classic mode is pretty simple. It is the game we all know and love with multiplayer support. There isn’t anything crazy or power ups or anything like that just good old fashioned alien shooting before they reach the bottom. Arcade mode is where things are changed up. You have large aliens that when you destroy them they break into the smaller more familiar sized aliens. You have power ups that give you triple fire for a limited number of shots. You have a gravity missile power up where a section beautifully warps in on itself destroying the aliens. There are other power ups, but I’m not going to run down everyone I came across. All weapon power ups are limited shots so you have to use them carefully to make the most out of them. This element prevents the game from straying to much from its roots. At least that is how I felt. It also manages to keep the difficulty in the game without things breaking down.
This game is not a bullet hell game or anything close. Yes the aliens fire upon you but their shots are clearly seen and keep the feel of the game like that of the original Space Invaders. Honestly if I didn’t know it, this game could easily be mistaken as a sequel gameplay wise and I mean that in the best possible way. Now the game is hard, its controls are sensitive you can move very quickly across the screen if you push the left stick too far. That was how I usually ended up getting myself killed or missing the intended shot.
The game fully supports 4 player local multiplayer and its a lot of fun sitting down and getting a multiplayer game of this going. For us old school gamers the older games are like guilty pleasures that the younger generation just missed out on. It is great to see new takes on these great games to bring it to our children. This game also has a local and global leaderboard if your playing while someone else is.
I give this game a 4 out of 5. So download the trial I bet you’ll be buying it.
Space Whale Studios brewed up an interesting game in their lab, Return All Robots. This game is a puzzle game with a plot, I always like those a little better than your standard puzzle after puzzle. Especially if the plot is good, whether it be serious or humorous. This game goes with humorous.
I will say the plot is funny and goofy and if I worked at the company the character you play does, I think I would just have to kill the intern trainee. Although pretty much everyone at the company your character starts to work for just seems to be horrible. So catastrophe strikes and of coarse they send the intern to clean up the mess. That is you.
Your job is to make sure all the friendly little blue robots are saved from each puzzle. You do this with a remote that cause all robots good or bad to head towards your direction. The stages are each puzzles that require you to maneuver the good robots through without them touching the bad robots or any destructive trap/terrain. The game play is very easy to figure out, but it gets very hard to figure out some of these puzzles. The story keeps you moving though. I know it made me want to see the end.
Games with stories are just a nice touch, gives you a sense of importance in the game. Well you get that here, although your co-workers make not always make you feel that way. Don’t you just love big business. Anyway you do get a few other items in the labs to assist you in the puzzles, or in some cases make them impossible to complete.
You can always restart the current puzzle and if you think you can best your previous time on a puzzle go back in and do it. Every puzzle you complete shows your time and calls it took to complete. So you can always just do it again, to beat your previous time or just to play a puzzle you liked again. Another nice little feature is that even after you finish the games story there are some advanced difficulty puzzles that become available. So you still have more you can do.
All in all for a unique puzzle game with some descent music I had fun and can see myself playing a few of the puzzles again just to lower that time that can sometimes look really bad.
I give this game a 4 out of 5 so go download the trial now, you’ll probably be buying it 7 minutes later.
Starchon is an amazing indie game from Freelance Games and was a joy to review. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started playing this game. I’m just glad I did start playing. On the first night I started this up, I had to stop playing because I needed to go to sleep. I sure as heck wasn’t done playing, and all the next day I kept thinking man I can’t wait to get back and finish that game.
So you’re probably wondering what was so good about it. The first thing to note is that it isn’t like other space shooters commonly found on XBLIGs. This isn’t some twin stick shooter and its not a scrolling shmup either. You battle in sectors that are big squares of space ships jump in and jump out of the sector, mostly they jump in if your there. You have your standard overhead view of the ships and fly around taking out the enemy Pigia ships. You lose if your ship, your battleship or whatever objective the particular mission has is destroyed. The controls take a little getting used to and may turn away a few people with the trial, and that is sad because once you get a handle on them its really quite comfortable. It sort of reminded me of playing a game on the SNES or Genesis.
Each mission is comprised of multiple sectors that you will be moving through. Some missions your battleship will jump you to the next sector on its own and you can’t stop it, other missions you have complete control of when and which sector you will jump into next. These are the missions that require a bit of strategy to beat. If you jump too far ahead enemy ships will be left behind and jump into battle with your starbase. That can be game over. So you have to clear the way and do it fast enough to take out the enemy starbase(s). Some missions have sectors that can be entered from multiple sectors this can be a little challenging since when you leave to go to one enemy starbase the other ones will keep sending enemies in behind you. Sometimes forcing you to go back to clean them up and prevent them from getting to your starbase.
There is more to it than that though. As you destroy the enemies you collect salvage points. These points can be used to research weapons, shields, engines, generators and even new ships for you to fly. These researched pieces can be equipped to your ships in numerous configurations to make your ship and your battleship the way you want it to be. I really liked this aspect. Now the danger is you will be doing your upgrading within missions not between them. You just have to dock on your battleship and upgrade away.
If your wondering what happens when you die, well you can just continue. You lose nothing except your high score. You have unlimited lives this way. You can also reply missions as well as stop playing and when you come back any mission you have started will remain unlocked and your ship upgrades will still be in place. I liked this since I couldn’t finish it in one sitting. It is a couple of hours worth of play I would say somewhere between 2 and 3 hours. Your replay value comes in going back into completed missions and getting a higher score for the scoreboard. Between the real time strategy aspects and the space shooter aspects the game offers a good mix of the two and is well worth playing for fans of either genre.
5 out of 5 without question.
Now I’m going to admit that when it comes to time based games I’m horrible. This game just made me look sad. I keep getting crushed on the 3rd stage. Let’s move on though Vertigo’s game play is simple, if you can time things properly. You use the left stick for movement and the A button for jumping and activating speed bursts and check points.
The object of the game is to get from the start of a stage to the end of it within a very short time. You’ll need to hit a lot of speed bursts, slide under signs and burst through building windows to make it. Missing the wrong speed boost can hurt so much.
Every stage you beat unlocks it for “Instant Action” mode and “Play” Mode which has a time trial and checkpoint mode as well as supports multiple players. So you need to beat campaign mode to unlock the stages as well as the different characters you can play as. That way you and your local friends can have some diversity in the stages playable.
Your time is kept on a leaderboard that allows you to type in any name or defaults to Player 1. I wasn’t impressed with the leaderboard, but visually the game is really nice and well designed from the stages I played. Even the story line for the campaign is a nice touch, but I do have some issues with the game.
First, It needs the option to just skip the whole conversation at the beginning of as stage. Every time you have to restart the stage because you failed to make the time you have to listen to it again. Yes you can press a button to speed it up by repeatedly tapping it, but a one button press would be so much nicer.
Second, I think the A button being both the jump button and the boost button is just really bad thinking. I can’t tell you how many times I was a second too soon or too late for the boost and ended up jumping because I missed it. If the boost was triggered by the RT button instead of the A button it would be a lot better. Especially since a jump at the wrong time can cause you to smack into a sign or wall slows you down a whole lot more than missing the boost.
If they split the one button into two and allowed a quick skip option for the text you have to see over and over again, I would be rating this game a 4 out of 5.
Sadly the way it is I give it a 3 out of 5.
This is an event started by the designers of indie games on Xbox. The event has released a lot of really good games of different varieties. Two of the games are still to be released, but of the 14 game line-up that isn’t bad. They started the event to bring more attention to Xbox Indie Games in general as well as there own. To show it’s not just a bunch of apps, but some real quality games.
They succeeded in garnering enough attention that even Microsoft took note. So, for the 12 games already released they have a panel on the Xbox Spotlight. Way to go, hopefully this will show people who are afraid to buy the indie games that there are great games for decent prices that are well worth the risk of picking up a bad game, when you could get 3 more that you love.
So here is a list of the games released as part of the Uprising as well as links to my reviews on the ones I’ve reviewed. So take a look here and at your dashboard and pick up a couple if you haven’t yet.
Hypership Out of Control
Soul Caster 2
Aphelion: Episode Two: Wings of Omega
Asteroids Do Concern Me
ZP2KX: Zombies & Pterodactyls
Cthulhu Saves the World
With these games to be released
Rickenbacker vs. the Aliens
Congratulations to them for succeeding in getting noticed and to all the dev’s for making such great games. I hope this impacts the indie marketplace in a great way, introducing non-indie game buyers into exploring the wide variety of indie games available on XBLIG.
The following link brings you to their official page; http://www.indiegames-uprising.com
Okay “A Shooter” is a game by Sorcery Games for the Xbox Indie Marketplace. Yes, it is a schmup and yes the title pretty much says it all. You fly in your ship horizontally blasting your way through each stage. To me this game felt like it fell right from my old SNES Collection.
Graphically this game looks and feels like an SNES game. It’s simple design and game play make it real easy for people of any age to get into. I love that your not shooting at a bunch of asteroids or geometric shapes. You’re shooting at enemy ships, what appears to be mines and later on something that reminds me of a bunch of borg ships. The game has Arcade mode which is your single player option or cooperative where you can have up to 4 people blasting away with you.
One thing I really like is that on cooperative play its a little harder to make up for the added help. Another thing that is great is everyone sort of has one life. If anyone dies they are dead until at least one player makes it to the next level. Then they come back with full health, which is great when playing with others and they die on the first stage. If all players die that is it though. poof. Makes sense to me.
There are leaderboards for the game both local and online, but be happy if it ever syncs with someone. This game looks to have been over looked by most. Now I’ll give you my greif on the game. About the first 5 stages seem really really slow to me. Which I know most people won’t play past that point, and that is a shame since it gets better once you get to the harder stages. The bosses are a nice touch at the end of each stage, each with a different movement pattern and firing pattern.
Overall though I found the game to be quite enjoyable even if it’s not the best schmup out there.
4 out of 5
Ska Studios‘ indie game ZP2KX: Zombies & Pterodactyls! which from this point will just be referred to as ZP2KX is another title of the Winter Uprising. If you have ever played ZP2K9 then you have an idea of how this game plays, if not don’t worry I’ll tell you about it.
This game is a shooting frenzy. With many maps to play on your little man runs, jumps, walks on walls and ceilings and even has a jet pack to get around. You pick up weapons along the way to blow your enemies up, stab, or even shrink them.
This game has every major match type you could think of; Death Match, Team Death Match, Humans vs Zombies, Capture the Flag, King of the Hill. For a 2D scrolling game it pulls off the different shooter modes really well. The game has a level system that unlocks cloths, skills, and classes. You can modify all the classes with any skills you already unlocked.
This game is the the best xblig online game I’ve played. Every time I’ve went to play there has always been others playing. Even if you manage to find a time that people aren’t playing you can play in practice mode against bots.
The game plays like a twin stick shooter for direction of fire and movement. Other buttons are used to throw grenades or proximity mines or whatever you may be carrying as well as other things but all of this is easy to get used to. All the match types are jump in jump out style which is great for the gamer who has only 15 minutes before dinner or some other activity.
I give this a very solid 5 out of 5. Don’t even bother with the trial just buy this game, you won’t feel cheated.
The holiday season always brings indie games dedicated to the season. This year Ludosity Interactive‘s brought GGC X to the marketplace. GGC X stands for Garden Gnome Carnage X-mas. This game is simple yet strangely addictive. It isn’t like the game has good graphics or great music, but its so easy to pick up and play till you want to play something more serious.
So let’s get to what the game is all about. Your a garden gnome and you have a serious problem with the Christmas spirit. So your goal is simple keep the elves from climbing the building and the Santas from landing on the roof. So you have tied yourself to the chimney and put the building on wheels. You jump off the roof and swing around bungee style as you roll the building left and right. All the while you can rip bricks off the wall to throw like grenades. Don’t worry you can replenish the bricks on the house if you let the black cat get to the roof. If you get into big trouble you can call in an air strike 3 times.
There is a bonus mini mode that you can earn by crushing those nasty little cheer bringers. You get points based on how hard you hit the elves or Santas. There is an online leaderboard for the game as well as a local leaderboard.
Now you may say this doesn’t sound fun, but download the trial it’s a lot more entertaining than I can really put into words. Maybe I just get a kick out of throwing bricks at Santa and his elves, but I liked this game.
I give this a 3 out of 5 and my reason for the 3 instead of the 4 is that the game is very seasonal.
This is such a cute Xbox Indie Game. Wool designed by Milkstone Studios is an excellent family game. The concept is simple, your a sheep dog and you must corral the sheep within a time limit. With cartoon style artwork that flips like paper when the sheep turn around and stages that are a little like what you might expect in a flash game your ready to go.
The game has 3 modes of play. There is a Solo mode where you attempt to corral a certain number of sheep within the time limit on 30 stages. The second mode is Co-Op where you can play with up to 4 players attempting to corral those sheep together. This is a lot of fun and allows you to get into the challenging stages and allow your children to play along with you. The final mode is Versus and in this mode you attempt to keep the sheep in your corrals and out of your opponents.
This game is a local modes so you won’t be playing against or with your xbox live friends. That is okay though this is much more of a family game if you ask me. While playing this game my 3 yr old little girl was definitely not ready to take a break from it when I was. She was saying “Again! Again!” whenever the topic of stopping playing came up. She’s usually not that caught up in any game.
With the playing as a dog chasing sheep around and barking at them to make them run from you, really got her interested. The game itself is a good game and has some challenging stages, one of which had me scaring sheep off into the water. This game will have me coming back again and again until I can beat all of the stages. Not to mention the fact that I will be drawn back in to play the game with my kids.
Now for adults wanting action and adventure this game will bore you, but for those of us able to appreciate a good quality game when we see it this game is worth a try. If you have little kids and want a game they can play and enjoy this is it.
So for Family gaming I have to give this a 4 out of 5.
Running Pixel‘s Kozu is described as an graphical and musical experiment on a twin stick shooter. I found the experiment to be successful in my opinion. With so many twin stick shooters available on both Xbox Arcade and the indie game marketplaces they all start to blend together. So you need something to set them apart.
How many times can you be content with the little person shooting zombies or the little ship shooting neon geometric shapes? I find the genre fun, but a bit over-saturated. Kozu offers something different and shows that you can still make a twin stick shooter that doesn’t make you feel like your playing the same game as all the others.
If you are wondering what is different about Kozu, lets break it down the music changes and each track is very different. No techno blend here which is refreshing. The other difference is the graphics, this is something I really got into. The play field is designed to look like paper with Asian writing on it. Some of the symbols are moving, whether it is spinning or moving at an angle. As you play the backdrop changes regularly as does the music. The differences do not end there though. You play as a person shooting at the enemies with different types of weapons, but the person you are looks like it was drawn with a calligraphy brush and the enemies have that same look to them.
The enemies and player are larger in this game than they appear in other twin stick shooters. Making everything more visible. The enemies poof into existence all over the play field. Many times popping up right behind you as you are walking backwards. This offers a nice challenge to the game since it appears that where they appear is based on where you are.
The game supports; no, encourages online play as that Quick Game(Live) is the top option. Sadly I couldn’t find a match online and although I created a match, no one joined. So I had to play locally with my girlfriend and it was fun but a little difficult running two people on the same screen even though it zoomed out when we got farther apart. On this I can only hope more people will realize that this game is worth getting and an online game will be easier to start up in the future.
For its solid gameplay and unique look and feel I give this a 4 out of 5.