Tag Archives: Action

Haven Review: Everspace

Everspace to put it simply, it’s amazing but if I ended a game review with a simple sentence I’d probably never get to review another title again. The game takes a page from other great space combat games most notably Star Fox in its combat, not counting do a barrel roll though. The controls for combat are very fluid with a option to increase the sensitivity to make things easier on both veterans of the genre and new comers.

One of the best features of the game is the ability to change the difficulty before you begin a play-through. So if you are having issues you can set it too easy which just decreases the amount of credits you get as you play through, but this can be rectified by putting all the credits you do own into the perk which enables you to find more credits which leads to increasing your threshold of money but keeping it on a easier mode.

Speaking of perks found in most RPG’s or ARPG’s are skill tree’s and although this is definitely NOT a Role-Playing game it does carry over that element, with the ability to perk out one of three ships so you can progress through the game easier and accomplish the mission you sent out to do.  Now you expect that after you die you would re-spawn back at your base of operations and in this instance you are not far from the truth.

However, the game does play off the fact that you did indeed die and one of the main focus points of this game is that you are the clone of the man who created you. So every time you die a new clone of yourself takes over and you got to start your adventure all over again venturing into space straight from sector one, much like the Star Fox games of old on the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64, the game is not very forgiving in this respect.

Not to mention its not very forgiving either when it comes to equipping your ship with better equipment. Although you can pick up blue prints and new colors as well as you are venturing through the game, not to mention finding better weapons. You never get to keep the weapons you equip and find only the blue prints and color schemes. Which is all well and good but all the items you can make or store are only found in stages and you only build better weapons or equipment during a stage and not launch into battle with them.

This is quite tedious as you got to mine materials during stages, hopefully while you are not being attacked and then proceed to the crafting screen to make your new equipment, not to mention that while you are crafting you got to ensure you also have enough materials left just in case a crucial function of your craft goes out.

Finding materials to keep your ship going is crucial to the game-play, and on one particular run my life support went out and with it failing and not being able to get the materials in time I spun out and blew up ending my current run. So knowing and having a balance between materials, and items you want to craft is crucial if you want to go for long runs.

However though the biggest issue I tend to encounter is getting fuel for my ship to make jumping easier between sectors and stages. You can attack the neutral NPC’s to get fuel but then for the entire sector they will all come after you making getting to the end game much harder for yourself, so you really got to choose your battles. Because they will occasionally aid you in fighting the various enemies you will encounter as you play through.

All this together helps make Everspace though one of the best action / space combat games I have ever played. With the opportunities to make my ship how I want, a selection of various enemies I can fight and countless ways I can customize my ship for combat. All while adding a reason to explore all the sectors you visit and adding anomalies to make the space combat even more thrilling, such as lightning storms, in space!

The great soundtrack, compiled with the well driven story and beautifully drawn cut-scenes makes Everspace a game I can’t put down. I hope whatever the studio is doing right now involves a sequel and fixing the occasional crashing bug on the Xbox One. All in all, even with that bug this is a game I would recommend to everyone. Regardless if you are a new to the genre or a veteran of the genre this is a game everyone can enjoy.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Drifting Lands

Now in my time I have played a lot of side scrolling games, starting from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) all the way to the glorious Sega Genesis and despite my enjoyment of those titles they never felt complete to me, they never felt like they were what the genre could be and what Drifting Lands accomplishes.

Humble in their beginnings they created one of the first genre of game where you have a ship of some kind that you got to blast through hordes of enemies that generally spew in from the right side of the screen. All the while you are madly dodging lasers, bullets, bombs, and explosions and everything else that is trying to kill you from giant space worms to other alien ships.

Drifting lands takes from its predecessors in the basics where you got the ship, its bullet hell in dodging and fighting. But that is where the comparisons end, they have added level select, they have added in stage difficulties, they even added a currency system and what I most absolutely love. They added the ability to buy and build a variety of ships from parts you scavenge from destroyed enemy ships.

However, this also presents a problem because with multiple ships to own, build and customize with a variety of weapons there is a downside to it all. That being you can lose your ship and all the rare parts you get while you play through stages. Which at this junction breaks my heart, because I got a really amazing rare item that boosted my ships stats through the roof, but upon fighting a enemy boss my ship was destroyed and I lost that part never to see it again.

Now, to this extent they have given the option to go classic mode where you will lose your equipment like I have. Never to be able to get it back again and you got to grind all over again for hours and hours on end if you hope to find it again OR you can do a safe mode which items will only break and you can repair them in the market place.

My only wish is that I would like an option to change between the two game modes while in game but, that is not do-able. So if you want to play it safe you got to make that choice very early on at the start of the game or else you may run the risk of losing your really good stuff.

Drifting Lands is one of the best side scrolling action games I have ever played with its very in-depth customization features, toppled with its beautiful scenery and exciting soundtrack. It stands out to me as one of the best if not to date the greatest side scrolling title to date.

The only thing I wish they did better was changing the game mode option freely, because I deeply regret being blown up, I lost a really awesome Guardians of the Galaxy Easter egg which was a old cassette.

If you are a fan of the classic side scrolling genre and have always wanted more from it, but also sticking strongly to its roots than look no further, Drifting Lands is the game for you. I’ve enjoyed it for countless hours.

Also the man in charge of the market looks suspiciously like Anthony Bourdain

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Shiness The Lightning Kingdom

Shiness the Lightning Kingdom, I have honestly been looking forward to this game for a incredibly long time, from the moment I saw it on kickstarter I have been following the game obsessively waiting as patiently as I can to get my hands on a copy of it and honestly, moment of truth?

It was so worth it, there are a few minor bugs here and there like getting stuck when you jump up and you land on a area connecting two zones. But outside of that one really annoying bug, and some crashing the game is surprisingly good.

Now, the biggest thing I’ve noticed with the game is its combat system. It is a very unique combat system, unlike traditional RPG’s where you have the lineup of characters fighting by your side this one takes a cue from Street Fighter where one character fights one enemy, however you can trade out during the fight for another character to best match your enemies this ability is also granted to the enemies as well that you fight.

The biggest difference is that the battles are handled in a arena concept. When encountering a bunch of enemies, it makes a dome around the fighting arena and you are forced to battle one on one with all the enemies until there is a victor, subsequently everyone gets EXP from the battle and they don’t need to participate in the battle to get EXP.

However if you plan on learning new skills, or moves you must use them in battle or else that character will never learn them. So it’s a double edged sword, you can have one good character or if you want a team of good characters you need to individually train them all.

Another fun factor of the game is its stage mechanics, where each character has a special skill to help them solve various problems that occur in the stages you play in. Chado can throw rocks or place them, Poky can connect electrical current with his wrench, and the other guy has psychic powers. I forgot his name, but he looks cool!

The story thus far is to primarily get to a place called the Land of Life which for the most part is the grueling aspect of the game. Although having only played the game for several hours at this point, I have been really enjoying the combat and the interactions with the other characters in a comic book mischief type of setting.

Action scenes are done with comic panels and audio dialog instead of a more interactive experience to give the game more of a fun and mischievous kinda feel and honestly? It works really well for the game.

I really enjoy the characters, the story so far, and the soundtrack to the game which helps add a bit more life to the game. I also absolutely enjoy just how colorful and vibrant the game is and its something I openly look for in games because I love to see actual color in games. Not some monochrome gray scaled game that says it’s fun, but a game that openly embraces color, antics, and understands that not everything has to be dark and gritty to be a game.

The interactions with the other characters, the jokes, the chance to jokingly insult a villain, these are aspects which help breathe life into this game and are the main aspects I really love about this title. I feel at times there is just not enough games out there that have these aspects. It’s not always about assassinating someone, it’s not always suppose to be grim. Sometimes we need a bright, cheerful, and fun loving game to break up the grimness of reality not only because it helps immerse us in a fantasy world, but also because it helps bring a freedom and joy that we cannot experience in the real world.

Shiness the Lightning Kingdom is one of those games that help share that fantasy to our reality and helps bring us back to the roots of gaming with its colorful and cheerful atmosphere and array of interesting characters.

-Daniel Clatworthy