Tag Archives: Action

Haven Reviews: hellblade, senua’s sacrifice

Hellblade us a mentally challenging trudge trough Hel, the underworld of Norse vikings. It is a miserable place of malcontent. Senua is on a brutal trek into the belly of the beast, with a slew of voices in her head. The story is well executed with a very earnest story that is not for the week of mind, or those who have mental issues. Even if the end is truly well urn. The scenery is stunningly beautiful, with some of the most moody and imaginative scenery in    yet to see. As someone from a viking land up north, whom have a more than passing familiarity to Norse mythology. Hellblade does a simply wonderful job at imagining nordic inspired locations. Though I truly miss a decent fjord. Meanwhile the story has a superb narrative and narration, where the world is littered with Norse mythology snippets. That being said Hellblade is a self contained story where everything you can do is there from the start. Combat is surprisingly simple and very efficient. However the combat does fall into meat wall territory, unless set to easy. Heavy attacks are combined with light ones, timed blocking, lenient dodging and a focus mechanic that slows everything down for a short period of time. Meanwhile the other part of the game is puzzles and harrowing situations, followed by long stretches of simple puzzle solving. Essentially a door is blocked by runes, which the shape has to be found, seen and focused on. Such as a distinct shadow on the wall after lighting a torch, or lining up some specific scenery. There are also a fair share of illusions and perspective tricks in place as well.  Which is a very interesting and fun way to do puzzle solving. Instead of scrounging for keys and banging things together until it magically works.  A feature I truly enjoy is the fantastically unobtrusive hud. The music is also fantastic, moody and something I need to look up later. That being said I ran across several crashes and some minor bugs. Such as walking backwards when crawling through the engulfing darkness. All in all a great game that took me eight hours to complete. Where it is impossible to miss the achievements. That being said, the save file will not be affected by dying a lot. Then again I died a grand total of five times. This is not a game for children and the feeble minded our those easily bored by long stretches of fumbling about.

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