Tag Archives: arcade

Haven Reviews: Redout

Haven Revies: Redoutredout

Redout is one of the fastest racing games I’ve ever played on Steam. There is a serious lack of fast futuristic racers. Then again racing games are of a mixed bunch and is usually way too limited. Especially when it comes to AI and interesting tracks. Redout does deliver a fairly complete experience. 20161123063644_1

I just really enjoy speeding through corkscrews, at break neck speeds. Incidentally this is where the title comes from. When curves and speed becomes too great, the screen is likely to take one a red hue, while the vision starts to blur. There is a limit to what the human body can take. Plus it makes for an interesting mechanic. Along with the ability to adjust the pitch while going through a loop.. It’s something that has to be done, otherwise I’ll just scrape up my vehicle against the tarmac. Since the hover craft is both fast and brittle, any bump and scrape will hurt. Apparently there are powerups that can affect the opposition, however they are quite frankly boring. 20161123064704_1

Redouts campaign mode is composed of several companies to pick from. Each have individual stats and specifications on their speeders. The company picked will keep clambering for attention by offer money deals and contracts, which all relate to upgrades.  20161123065350_1The bags of money thrown at me I mostly use to buy upgrades and improving them. Progress equals higher velocities and harder races. Despite my best effort I’m not very good at winning in this game though. I have a really hard time handling the cornering and timing. 20161123064606_1 The cramped track width does not do me any favors. Then again I do have the habit of driving in first person instead of third. That could be a contributing factor. The boss levels are one of the thing that really make Readout shine. These are long hard races, with portals, that teleport the player to another location quite seamlessly. 20161123064958_1

Graphically the game is very polished and sleek. With some interesting track designs and some wicked loops. With various cool themes. Redout has all the hallmarks of a fantastic racing game. Tight cornering, drifting, catch up mechanics and some upgrades. The one thing it really lacks is a way to trash the opponents and more impact sound effects. I find t a bit too muted. The soundtrack is also quite good and upbeat, with some very catchy tunes. Being able to adjust the pitch, but pressing the stick back and froth adds some extra depth to the mechanics, preventing it from becoming a mindless arcade experience. Redout also comes with Steam achievements, which is always good. VR support I can’t comment on, since I don’t have it and a very functional multiplayer mode.

Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this.

Njål Sand

Haven Review: Spheria

SpheriaFirst 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.

Marble-rolling games occupy a special niche in the arcade game genres. Players typically take the role of a tiny ball, rolling and careening its way around obstacles and pitfalls on the way to an exit point  The game we have for you today is slightly different. It’s called Spheria; developed by Daydream Software and published by Black Shell Media.Spheria1In Spheria, the “marble” is actually a large, heavy medicine ball. Using either keyboard or mouse, the idea is to navigate compact, yet tricky tabletop maps. Positioned precariously on each map is a series of checkpoints. You must roll the ball over each in order to unlock the exit. Now here’s where it gets interesting. The checkpoints don’t instantly light up the moment you encounter them. You must stop and linger for a second as they power themselves up. This is not as easy as it sounds, for the surrounding blocks and maze walls will do whatever they can to stop you!
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The first obstacle you’ll encounter are the basic building blocks. Green blocks turn yellow when you bump into them. Yellow blocks turn red, and red blocks simply disappear when struck, leaving a gaping hole in the floor. As with most marble games, you don’t want to fall off the map if you can help it. Another type of obstacle is the blue block.

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As in another famous puzzle game, blue is the color of repulsion; it will bounce your ball away upon contact. Unfortunately, you can’t simply avoid these blocks. Some checkpoints are nestled within groups of these bouncy nemeses!

Next, let’s examine the flooring. Most tiles are a plain gray (safe) color. However there are others to watch out for. Muddy tiles will slow you down. Icy tiles are slippery and will alter your direction of movement. Arrow tiles only allow passage in the direction they point. One of my favorite sequences involves reaching a checkpoint guarded by blue blocks and arrow tiles!Spheria5By far the trickiest mechanic I’ve come across is the dissolving floor. Green tiles are safe, but only for a short time. They quickly turn red, warning you of their impending disappearance. If you’re on a tile when it vanishes, you’ll be dropped off the map into oblivion. So you can see how levels which combine all of the aforementioned elements may get frustrating, but at the same time very rewarding when solved.Spheria4aIs there anything the player can do to acclimate to the game’s demanding skill? Indeed there is; it’s called the tutorial! These entry-level maps do a great job teaching you about the physics of the game, and the accompanying boundaries.Spheria6

So overall, is Spheria worth it? Priced on Steam at $4 (USD), the answer is yes. Despite the game’s inherent trickiness (so prevalent in arcade titles), Spheria‘s addictive nature will keep you returning for more. Add in it’s 22 Steam achievements and you have a fun, beer-and-pretzels arcade leveler with lots of replay value!

-Chris Roberts-SpheriaScale

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-
XXAccent