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Haven Review: Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R

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A little late then never, we got our hands on Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R on Steam and it’s time to give it our review.

Now right from the start the opening cutscene seems really well done, showing off yet again the characters you expect to see in the Guilty Gear franchise; from Sol Badguy to Ky, and Bridget as well the notorious transvestite that has had many a young boy questioning their sexuality. Nah, I’m kidding, but when they reveal Bridget as a guy it does get pretty hilarious.Guilty-Gear-XX-Accent-Core-Plus-R-not-work Now once we get to the menu I’m slightly confused, as I have music blaring into my headset and it’s really hard to navigate and focus with it. But at long last I found the options menu, only to discover the sound is not there for whatever reason. I noticed afterwards that the sound is a completely separate option, and lowered the sound. It seems ridiculous though, not to have all the options in one spot.

You would think that with a port they would do a little more fine-tuning and make sure it’s all good, but they couldn’t be bothered with that. So after that, we move into the training mode where we just get a feel for the controls. Just like all the previous Guilty Gear titles, there is nothing wrong with them. The game controls fine and it’s very responsive. In fact I’d go as far as to say it responds better than the previous titles did, and was really easy to pick up.GG1-620x

So we break into Story Mode playing as my favorite character, Ky (mainly because of his notable blue and white outfit that is the reverse of my own coat). Loading up with Ky I get a feel for the story and its general setup is a bit disappointing. They just move the characters’ faces over the top of the screen so signify who is talking, before going to the combat. The most ridiculous part about the entire thing is that there is a robotic Ky now who begins to shout almost religiously that data is the only truth of the universe. GG3-620xBut the robotics Ky designs is literally one of the worst things I have ever seen in general for anime-styled character, as well as it using the trope that because it was based off the original and it’s a robot it must be superior.

Conclusion: though the game is pretty solid for a fighting-style title, it ultimately lacks the appeal of a promising story. It also suffers from poor menu management. Other than that, it remains solid overall.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
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Haven Review: Guilty Gear 2 -OVERTURE-

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Meth: it’s a hell of a drug. It can mess people up in the head and it’s why I assume the developers thought making
an open combat game from the Guilty Gear series was a good idea. But all jokes aside, the game is notoriously bad. When you start playing a Guilty Gear title you expect a nice fighting game where you can battle your opponents and friends.    But this title makes you say “what the hell” with its real time strategy style combat and giving Sol Badguy various abilities he has never had before. It also aims to tie all the canon main fighting characters into a single game. Its first initial goal is to literally confuse the players by explaining how magic works.

But I digress. As I start playing the game it introduces the mechanics to me slowly in a almost never ending barrage of tutorial missions. Once you think you have finished one, you are stuck yet again doing more and more; and I use the term “mission” loosely. A typical mission will have a start and stop to it. The missions in this game start but are soon followed by several other baby missions until the overall mission is completed.guilty-gear-2-overture-1254403743

The game comes across as a jumped mess of things, with elements from various genres, including MOBA and RTS. These are combined with a Hack’n’Slash that you would expect to see in a Dynasty Warriors title. Some of the elements work while the others are an utter disappointment. The overall game feels like it is just trying too hard to reinvigorate a game series that isn’t known as well as Street Fighter.

This all leads me to beg with the developers and plead and say “Stop, please, drugs are bad, stop taking Meth or whatever you are taking to think this game is good”. The game’s controls are possibly one of the worst, and for a good while I was just trying to figure out how to run in a stage. But it doesn’t teach you until roughly the eighth tutorial mission. For anyone who is wondering, it’s R3 on the controller. God have mercy on you if you’re using a keyboard.gg_overture2

Now the overall plot to each stage is to take over tiny little magical tower things by attacking them and bringing your troops over so you can produce more troops and clear the areas. Its easy enough, considering the Hack’n’slash of the game gives you the ability to kill a lot of things with ease. The boss fights remain a total bore and are some of the worst I have ever played in a game to date. So is a lot of the corny dialog and the lip-syncing to the characters, although it’s what to expect with little love given to a port of a game. They must not have had a lot of hope for the game selling well in the Western and European markets.gg_overture4

The overall design of the stages don’t really stand out to me in a good way either. You get to see a fully rendered Sol Badguy, Ky and the rest, but when you look at the background it feels as if they took stock assets from other titles or developers and threw them in there with warped buildings that remain unexplained in the game’s narrative. The only real saving grace of the game is the music and just how well the actual cut-scenes are done. But even then it’s not good enough for us to merit this game being good.

The controls are sluggish, the music is alright, the cut-scenes are good, the design overall is poor and it’s filled with enough tutorials to make anyone rage. But hey, if you actually read all this and you still think it’s good, then by all means go and buy it! I won’t condemn you. It is your money after all!

-Daniel Clatworthy-
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Haven Review: Pixel Puzzles 2: Space

PixelPuzzles2TitleFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Some of you may remember my “Heroes Review” on YouTube for a game called Pixel Puzzles: UndeadZ. The idea was to piece together a virtual jigsaw puzzle…always with a zombie theme…while simultaneously warding off actual zombies, tower-defense-style. The action was furious, adding a big dose of challenge to an otherwise relaxing tabletop pastime. Today we continue with another title in the same series. It’s called Pixel Puzzles 2: Space, developed by Decaying Logic and published by Kiss Ltd. This game is far less intense than its predecessor, which can be a good thing or not, depending on your mood. Pictured below is a sample of one of the game’s easier puzzles.
PixelBoardHere we’re building a photo of Mars, and you can see I’ve already completed the corners and sides. Outside the puzzle borders there are several things going on. Unplaced jigsaw pieces float around, waiting to be used. The bottom edge of the screen represents your tabletop, where you can prearrange pieces as you would do with a physical puzzle. Also floating around are little capsules that can be loaded into special sockets located at the bottom-left corner of the screen. When loaded, sockets give clues to help solve the current puzzle. Be careful though. If you abuse the clues, you won’t have enough capsules left to build the rocket ship shown on the left side of the screen. If the rocket is left incomplete, the little astronaut dancing around the screen will have no way home…he’ll be stranded (and you’ll be stranded out of a Steam achievement). For this reason I always try for a “perfect game”, where I use no clues whatsoever. However this is a game review, so we should probably discuss clue basics.

Here are your special abilities:

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Show Ghost [G]: Temporarily replaces your current puzzle progress with a full picture of the solution. You don’t see the jigsaw outlines here; only a smooth, complete image.

PixelPlacementResultLocation [Space]: Temporarily highlights the correct location within the puzzle for the jigsaw piece “in hand”.

Fix Angle [CTRL]: Temporarily rotates the jigsaw piece “in hand” to face the correct direction for placement into the puzzle.

Rocket: This is where you place as many capsules as possible. If you place enough, the rocket will suddenly launch, indicating that a Steam achievement is on the way should you go on to complete the puzzle.

When a puzzle is done you’re returned to the main menu, where you can select another. Puzzles range from 60 to 350 pieces, but the goal is always to rescue the astronaut.

PuzzleSelectSo is Pixel Puzzles 2: Space worthwhile? Yes it is. It’s very relaxing and perfect for those times when you want a virtual jigsaw puzzler that’s less action-packed than its aforementioned predecessor. Priced on Steam at $10 (USD), this title is a good value. My only “issue” is that it may be a tad tame for fans of the series who are looking for a more heart-pounding experience.

-Chris Roberts-

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