All posts by Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Seasons After Fall

Seasons After fall, in the most simplistic of ways it is a beautifully orchestrated game, from the majesty of its art-work to the very core elements of its game-play. There was another game I reviewed a while back called Ori and the Blind Forest and this game is most definitely on the same level of greatness as something produced by Microsoft Studios.

You play a seed, or you are often referred to as a Seed not really sure in this aspect because at a junction the story presents a narrative that argues this point. But anyways, once you arrive you are told to visit four different Sanctuary’s and meet each Guardian as you progress through each stage. The game involves basic puzzle solving, combined with stunning artwork, soothing melodies, platform gaming and lastly simply perfect narrative.

It is a fairly simple game and I finished it with a hundred percent completion in nearly eight hours being generous with time as well. But just because its simple doesn’t mean it is any less enjoyable, the game orchestrates itself in a manner that is both enticing and provocative to keep the players entertained. If you are a young gamer and you don’t want to expose them to more violent games, or any game that in general has violence in it. Than this would be the ideal game for you and your kids.

As the game has no enemies to combat and it relies heavily on its story telling capabilities and stunning artwork. However I will say this, for younger people the puzzles will in general keep the children occupied as they try to solve them. I found a few someone challenging myself which is why it took me eight hours to complete the game instead of finishing it quicker.

But I do have to note at times the controller felt very ridged and not my controller by the actual character controls itself. If you do not maintain momentum as you play through the game the character becomes a bit more listless and sluggish making solving puzzles that require jumping a bit harder.

I also encountered a bug in the game during its second phase, I guess you could call it that triggered my vibration settings on the controller and never shut them down. So now I got a glorified neck massager to help me stay at ease. Although this can be a bit tedious in general if you just enjoy having it vibrate when you jump or fall.

The only real solution to this problem is that you can turn it off in the settings menu but it completely turns the function off, if you turn it back on it will just continue vibrating regardless and not stop at all.

The game overall though is very solid, with stages that change for each segment you complete, a amazing mechanic to control the seasons to help solve puzzles like the Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons, and a beautiful and artistic world that feels as if it was painted onto my screen for me to enjoy.

Despite the game being really short, I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to play a very relaxing game. Seasons after Fall is more about the experience rather than the challenge and I’ve found it very fulfilling both as a game and as an art piece.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Editorial: Captain America – The Representation of a Nation

Now, first and foremost I know I am probably going to get a lot of heat for this from a community of comic readers out there, but it’s my website so I will say what I want and you’ll are going to have to live with it.

Captain America one of the idealist poster boys for Marvel both in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and also in the comics. However in recent events he has taken somewhat of a dark turn after the cosmic cube rewrote his personal history turning him into an agent of Hydra and he’s slowly begun killing off all the heroes he fought alongside all these years.

But when you think of it, Marvel has always taken a very steadfast stand on politics. They have been using their comics to illustrate a point to the readers; at least from my perspective they have been.

Sam Wilson is currently the new Captain America fighting for truth and justice the same way the Captain America of old once did. However he is a liberal of sorts and that offends a lot of people, but the classic Captain America; Steven Rodgers represents the old America or in this case the current America.

Look around you; you see riots, brawling, racism, fascism, and hatred causing the country to literally tear itself apart at the seams. As a person who’s lived outside of the United States I can assure you that American’s are not taken to very pleasantly weather in be in Europe, the Middle East, England or other countries out there. We are looked down upon because of how we treat each other and when you think of it.

Captain America the person we all knew, loved, and trusted being the enemy is profoundly accurate because this is what America is. We let people live our lives without any choice of our own like the President being Donald Trump right now, who is trying to pass a bill that states that anyone with a variety of illnesses can no longer receive medical care such as me.

Yet, we have a person like Bernie Sanders who is standing up for us, against all odds and fighting for our true rights that we think we’ve had. Bernie Sanders is essentially the New Captain America with his political views not being in line with the main stream media.

We are at the cross-roads as a country, both in comics and in the way the nation is run and by who its run. We see the enemy and how its drawing closer, but a lot of people have trouble accepting this as a truth because of who it is. But Marvel gave it a face, a name, and a cause Captain America the original Captain America is a Hydra agent who thinks that controlling people is the best solution and we have to sacrifice our lives, and our freedoms for this cause.

No man can be controlled, just as no one can stop time from moving forward.

The only way this situation could become even more clear to people is if Donald Trump took Captain America’s shield and did a hand to hand fight with Bernie Sanders. It’s sad though, that the times continue to move on, and the people we thought we could trust turn out to be our greatest enemy.

Comics are a means of expression just like all other forms of art, but at the same time each art form is meant to help invoke a emotion, whether it be pity, remorse, anger, or despair. If anything the story that is unfolding right now before our eyes is real, just as the struggle to choose to keep on living a dream or face the reality of the situation outside our door.

America is considered the enemy, to a lot of people, and is viewed with such atrocity that a lot of people want to leave.Those who choose to stay, have to come to terms with the realization that, this is the path they choose, they choose to fight for healthcare, they choose to fight for their lives that the government could deem forfeit at a given moment.

But for those who want to leave, but can’t you will have my eternal sympathy.

-Daniel Clatworthy

 

Haven Review: Touhou Genso Wanderer

There are some games out there that inspire greatness, that exude the promise of greatness and that are just naturally amazing. However, Touhou Genso Wanderer is not one of these games.

I love the character designs and artwork, the voice acting and the animation for the game is simply amazing. Like holy hell the animation for the cut-scenes is on par with some of the greatest games I have ever seen for anime-styled games.

However, it’s the actual gameplay that has been disappointing. You get a world of build up and then when you get to actually playing the game it is a simple dungeon explorer title with nothing special or amazing about it. No attention to detail, repetitive music and ultimately bland to look at it. It has a strong feeling like the assets were ripped from RPG maker software, titled in and coded for a Play Station 4 game.

Touhou Genso Wanderer is a title that could have been great but gave up half-way through. Although I am not sure on why, it could be budget constraints; it could be poor direction, or even simply poor design.

The controls for the game were pretty confusing as well and the screen re-size function on the Play Station 4 didn’t help much in its visuals as well. The game just simply kept overriding the default options I had placed in.  So I could never see the full status bar of my character.

I know I am being very critical about the game, but honestly that is what I am here for to be critical about games. The game sucks, put simply and people can complain and argue that with me to their blue in the face. I don’t like how they didn’t get the stage design more detail, I don’t like the repetitive music on a infinite loop, I don’t like how they mashed the controls together and barely gave any type of tutorial to go along with it.

I’d like to say it’s one of the worst games I have ever played, but there’s quite a few in the running for that.  The best part of the game is simply its branding. The beautiful and colorful characters, the animation, even the voice acting are pretty nice. It’s just everything else about the title that’s bad.

If you want in this article appears several images from the game to explain what I mean in regards to its poor level design and why I dislike it.    

If I had to say some positive things about it, I’d say that the level transition goes quickly and loads up well. But that is because they are doing a tiled asset approach and don’t have a lot of things to load.

Actual combat remains somewhat of a bore and the plot used to let you battle actual humans in the game is a simple plot convenience that lets them recycle assets to help keep the file size low for this game.

I’d say don’t buy it, but if you like sloppy work for a cheaply made game that most people could put together on the RPG maker forum with basic coding and simple assets than. By all means this game is the game for you! Although if the fan base reads this article, which they probably will at some point, my opinion probably doesn’t matter to you so enjoy the game anyways.

-Daniel Clatworthy

For the record if anyone also wanted to know, I’m not the only person who feel’s this way, a lot of people on Metacritic say the same thing.