Tag Archives: crazy

Haven Review: Volgarr the Viking

volgarr_screen_04First 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.

Do you find modern games too easy, with their abundant checkpoints and simple streamlined level design? Do you remember those nail biting platform games that chewed up your coins like a blender, where death was only one good hit away and the levels had an abundance of pitfalls and spikes? Topped off with huge bosses? Then look no further.volgarr_screen_01

Volgarr the Viking is very simple to control and requires a lot of memorization and some luck, since it’s a retro style platform game that’s inspired by old arcade games. The hero can throw spears, cut things with his sword, roll and double jump. Every now and then you’ll find treasure chests with power-ups, which provide the player with a shield that blocks projectiles and can take one hit. Naturally, there is an achievement for getting through a world without taking any hits. A true challenge for hardheaded and thick skinned players, whom like to die a lot, yet feel they achieved progress with each mistake.

The goal of Volgarr is very simple.VolgarrTeaser_1.wmv Navigate the fiendishly-designed level and fend off anything in your way, while collecting riches. To prevent the game from being too frustrating there are checkpoints every now and then. After all, a platform game is all about reflexes, timing and memorization. The levels will press the players to the max.

Big bad bosses.

The in-game sound feels bit muffled and downplayed. This is a good thing, since it takes a long time before it gets on the nerves. While the music is fitting, it is a forgettable affair. The overall style is a cross between Golden Axe and a Conan movie. In this regard, they truly captured the feel of an old-school game. The is some music as well, however I found it quite forgettable, its just there.

The environments are nicely drawn and set up in a style which makes all the important elements stand out. It also captures that retro feel.

Is it enjoyable? Hell yeah. Is it hard and frustrating? Indeed. But then again, this is why I enjoy such games. It’s all about improving your gaming skills and learning from mistakes. Volgarr the viking throws no punches and will leave you oddly satisfied yet horribly brutalized at the same time. And that is quite the achievement.

volgarr

Their homepage

http://www.volgarrtheviking.com/

A like to the steam store fromt.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/247240

-Njål Sand-

 

 

Haven Review: The Evil Within

First 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.

g2d4bwl Can you survive the horrid mindscape made of blood and brains? The Evil Within is a gruesome affair, with thundering abominations and lethal traps around every corner waiting to tear you apart. To build upon the rather depressing atmosphere, the color palette is drab and diluted, with monsters that are not unlike zombies. Make no mistake, the enemies are a lot more tenacious and intelligent than the ones from the Resident Evil series (from which this game takes its inspiration). On that note, the game feels and controls much like Resident Evil, only more tightly. This is survival horror in every name of the word.

The ever-changing and unpredictable nature of the environment and the violent scene transitions, combined with very little ammo, makes it a harrowing experience. Most games have buckets of ammo or make the monsters into bullet sponges; this game does not. The controls are indeed quite simple and intuitive. One stick moves the character, the other controls the camera. The left trigger is aiming, while the right is shooting. The default camera angle uses an over-the-shoulder, almost “second person” view if you will; a standard affair these days.

The_evil_within-RE-Bone_Laura-03

What really made my experience enjoyable were the rare but welcome quick-time events (QTE). This means that you cannot die during a brutal cut scene because you failed to press “A” on time. The only time this comes into play is when interacting with enemies, such as when being strangled or prying open a door. The story’s delivery method is well done; it dives into the mind of the characters and gradually explains what the hell is going on.

During the course of the story you’ll unlock the typical weapons that have been a staple in Shinji Mikami games. These include a boring but practical generic police revolver, a shotgun for going up close and personal, an ever-so-powerful magnum with a very tight ammo budget, generic grenades that go boom and a sniper rifle for things far away. The only unique weapon is the crossbow, which has a lot of custom ammunition and is actually crafted from disarmed traps. Crossbow bolts comes in a tasteful variety. 2443259-the+evil+within+screenshot_1383569070The harpoons nail things to the wall, while the flash bolts blind your enemies. Then you have the shocking electric bolts, as well as the freezing bolts that put things on ice. Around the maps there are vials of green gel that can be used to upgrade the main hero.

Despite having an armory of guns, it’s often more useful to sneak around and stealth-kill your adversaries, or distract them by throwing bottles. Sometimes hiding in lockers or under a bed is a more viable strategy then to punch enemies in the head; they take a lot of punishment. This especially holds true in the DLC, since there you have no gun! Due to the nature of the game, there are a lot of collectibles and some interesting achievements, as well. A notable thing to try in the DLC are the higher game difficulties. I dare you to navigate the DLC in total darkness with only a flashlight to guide your way!

The-Evil-Within-1

People loose their head from time to time.

The game is very well put together with a decent run length and a lot of replay-ability. It took me at least 16 hours to complete the game and yes, I died a lot. So will you. I cant really say that The Evil Within is a scary game unless blood, barbed wire and gruesome death animations tend to gross you out. I dare say that the game uses the most awesome special effects and transitions I’ve ever seen in this genre. The soundtrack is okay for the most part, but it can get a bit grating and old quickly. Luckily it can be turned off. I only had one big problem: the un-skippable death scenes and camera interruptions whenever an event steals the focus. It gets on my nerves when I die three times in a row and I cant skip the scene.

This is not a game for people with epilepsy or who are unsuited to view graphic violence. Due to the gallons of blood and occasional decapitation, let all parents be warned before purchasing this game as a well-meant birthday or holiday present!

Incidentally, if you aren’t going to play the game personally or simply want to see it in action first, here’s my Let’s Play:

And a link to to the steam store page.

-Njål Sand-

6