Tag Archives: Bullet Hell

Haven Review: Xmas Shooting – Scramble!!

Fruitbat Factory is at it again bringing us another delight from Orange juice! No, not the beverage that got our YouTube channel suspended for three months. The game design group! This time its Xmas Shooting Scramble!

Like its previous Bullet Hell titles its come out with like QP – Shooting is dangerous we are back for another round of insanity and mischief lead by the chibi’s from that as far as I know represent their development team at Orange Juice.

This game though has a plot, which at the very moment you start arcade mode you are chasing down someone who has stolen the presents from Bunny Girl Santa! That devious little bastard, Who dares steal from Santa! Well besides villains like Team Rocket and other characters throughout the history of games and television.

But back on track on track now, the game controls just like its predecessors and its pretty easy and straight forward to the point where anyone can pick it up and start playing it and have little to no issue understanding the controls, the configuration, and everything else.

It really feels like they just re-skinned QP-Shooting is dangerous in terms of mechanics and just made a new story. Which is forgivable in this case because its a bullet hell game and if you are like myself you just kind of expect bullet hell titles to just be pumped out over and over again. There isn’t anything wrong with it unless they “literally” just re-skinned QP – Shooting is dangerous and trust me they didn’t and they did manage to fix a few bugs as well.

Like their previous titles the music is very delightful and spot on, as is the actual gameplay where you can challenge your friends and family and prove to them all you are the dominate gamer of the household and that your bullet hell skills should be recognized.

But what it ultimately boils down to is do you like Bullet Hells, do you like anime ladies dressed as Santa, because you know thats a fetish and people are into that. Do you also like cheesy dialog to explain why you are firing energy waves and protecting yourself with little reindeer than look no forward! When Christmas rolls around we have found the ideal game title for you that is not only nicely made, runs smooth as silk, but also has lovely animation in terms of game design in it.

If you liked QP – Shooting is dangerous than you will definitely love this title.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Zamarian

 

2016-02-01_00005Zamarian is a mouse-driven arcade space shooter. Instead of having free movement though, you are stuck moving in a circular motion around a central point. Enemies tend to spawn at the center and spiral out toward you, however some will spawn outside the circle. Enemies will drop money, health (in the form of shields), and sometimes weapon upgrades. However all these upgrades can be bought from the store if you have the coin. You can also spend money to buy new ships. There are light, medium and heavy ships. From what I gathered, the only difference is their price and their health. The heavy ship obviously costs the most and sports the most health.

An interesting mechanic is that items are bought in real time. There is no pause menu to access the shop. If you are running low on health, quickly buy a new ship while still avoiding incoming attacks. Once a purchased ship is destroyed you’ll go back to the base ship. Of course when this happens, the game recommends immediately purchasing a new one since the health of the base ship is minimal. So essentially, if you’re quick enough and have the cash, you can just keep buying new lives. This is the recommended thing to spend your money on, as weapon upgrades come along fairly often. But if you’re needing something in a pinch or are just bored with your current gun, you can buy a new one.

Weapons also have health that depletes when you get hit. So you’ll be switching through them pretty regularly. One problem I have with the weapon store is that the names of the weapons aren’t displayed; just tiny pictures. When you’re focusing on everything else, trying to make out what those pictures actually correspond to can be a big pain. Usually I open up the store, pick something at random and just kinda go with it.2016-02-01_00004

The UI in general is a little lacking. When enemies spawn in the center of the circle, they’re very tiny and hard to see. It’s not the biggest issue, but with everything else going on it’s hard to tell what exactly is coming at you. This can be said for things you need to collect, as well as for those to avoid. There really isn’t the biggest distinction between collectibles (like money and upgrades) and enemy bullets. They’re all just brightly colored objects flying toward you. There have been many times where a mass of glowing green things are flying toward me, and I go to pick them up, thinking they’re money. In reality they’re bullets, and I get destroyed. When the screen is that hectic and there are a billion things flying in your direction, there really needs to be a way to distinguish what’s good and bad. In the heat of the moment it’s harder to make snap decisions because everything is a little more ambiguous than I’d like.

The controls for Zamarian are weird. Literally all you do is spin around the center point. You can move inward and outward, but that’s it. Aside from opening the stores and buying stuff, there’s no other clicking involved. In fact, your guns fire automatically.

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The biggest problem with this game is its sound design. Since the guns are constantly firing, there’s a steady, never-ending “pew-pew-pew” coming from them. This, in addition to the myriad blips and bloops coming from the enemies and pick-ups…all on top of a generic metal soundtrack…leads to an atonal cacophony that makes my ears bleed. It’s literally that bad. I did worse at the game when the sound was on. I couldn’t concentrate on anything with that horrid noise in the background. Luckily this problem is easily solved by turning off all the noises/music and just putting on a nice podcast. Zamarian is an interesting take on the arcade space shooter genre, but with definite problems. Overall though, it’s a nice little experience.

zamer

Disclaimer: We received this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

-Jordan Kamm-

Haven Review: Enter the Gungeon

EnterTheGungeonTitleFirst 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.

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Defiantly not Vulcan Raven.

Enter the Gungeon

Play as a shady gunslinger stuck in a gun-themed dungeon, where living bullets are armed with guns that shoot bullets…and that’s only the first room. In fact there are several gunslingers to pick from, with some unique starting options and passives.

Tutorials are for chumps; here is all you need to know. One stick is for moving, the other is for aiming and every hero has a gun that shoots projectiles. They all come with a “dodge roll” and can have an extra item equipped. They also have a fancy bullet-stopping area attack.

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A gun that shoots the word bullet.

The game is quite simple, highly intuitive and extremely addictive, in both single player and coop modes.

In this randomly generated “gungeon”, virtually everything will try to kill you unless you shoot first. If you can’t kill it, you’re obviously not using enough bullets! That being said, not every weapon uses conventional ammo. Even a simple water gun is deadly and good for quenching fireplaces and things that throw Molotovs, or pesky items afire.

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There is always something going on.

The most brilliant gun I’ve found so far is the love gun. It shoots nice things, including hearts and squeaky teddy bears. With a little luck it charms enemies as well. Too bad the gun and item drops are completely random, just like the room layout and enemy setup. Rooms usually contain an assortment of things, such as debris, flippable tables, and movable barrels. Naturally, this means that red ones go boom. The most annoying thing with Enter the Gungeon is that there exist suicide bombers. Fortunately they’re easy to dispatch and will probably blow up adjacent enemies.

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Watersports and runaway minecarts.
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Yet another stupid death.

Each floor has a boss and most have a store, as well. Eventually savvy players will realize that it’s possible to reveal floor shortcuts and find many unlockable goodies. Even the first floor can be a challenge, and enemies will most likely succeed at killing you. It’s a top down game where some luck, skill and a lot of patience is needed to progress. Enter the Gungeon is drawn in that lovely pixel art which is so popular these days, and it works wonders. Despite the easy controls and solid mechanics, this game will kick your ass hard and you will die a lot. Luckily, it’s possible to unlock shortcuts and other hidden goodies. But those take some luck and a lot of skill to access, since the bosses drop a special currency. Trust me, each and every boss is unique and hard. This means they will gobble you up and spit you out; then do it all over again.

Don’t let the sprites of the gungeon fool you. A lot of effort was put into the graphics, and it shows. Each room is littered with stuff to destroy. Debris are mostly permanent and can be scattered about with explosions. Many of the gungeon’s rooms provide teleporters. These devices allow you to fast-travel around the map; as long as you’re not currently engaged in combat, that is.20160415210749_1

The room you’re in will be “locked off” during shootouts. The soundtrack for Enter the Gungeon is quite catchy and brilliantly captures the feel and style of the game. It can be bought separately, or in a bundle. The same goes for the sound effects. They make just enough noise not to become annoying. Personally, I enjoy the hell out of this game. However the premise and execution is not necessarily for everyone.

GUngeojn

http://store.steampowered.com/app/311690/

Njål H Sand