Tag Archives: Explorer

Haven Review: Touhou Genso Wanderer

There are some games out there that inspire greatness, that exude the promise of greatness and that are just naturally amazing. However, Touhou Genso Wanderer is not one of these games.

I love the character designs and artwork, the voice acting and the animation for the game is simply amazing. Like holy hell the animation for the cut-scenes is on par with some of the greatest games I have ever seen for anime-styled games.

However, it’s the actual gameplay that has been disappointing. You get a world of build up and then when you get to actually playing the game it is a simple dungeon explorer title with nothing special or amazing about it. No attention to detail, repetitive music and ultimately bland to look at it. It has a strong feeling like the assets were ripped from RPG maker software, titled in and coded for a Play Station 4 game.

Touhou Genso Wanderer is a title that could have been great but gave up half-way through. Although I am not sure on why, it could be budget constraints; it could be poor direction, or even simply poor design.

The controls for the game were pretty confusing as well and the screen re-size function on the Play Station 4 didn’t help much in its visuals as well. The game just simply kept overriding the default options I had placed in.  So I could never see the full status bar of my character.

I know I am being very critical about the game, but honestly that is what I am here for to be critical about games. The game sucks, put simply and people can complain and argue that with me to their blue in the face. I don’t like how they didn’t get the stage design more detail, I don’t like the repetitive music on a infinite loop, I don’t like how they mashed the controls together and barely gave any type of tutorial to go along with it.

I’d like to say it’s one of the worst games I have ever played, but there’s quite a few in the running for that.  The best part of the game is simply its branding. The beautiful and colorful characters, the animation, even the voice acting are pretty nice. It’s just everything else about the title that’s bad.

If you want in this article appears several images from the game to explain what I mean in regards to its poor level design and why I dislike it.    

If I had to say some positive things about it, I’d say that the level transition goes quickly and loads up well. But that is because they are doing a tiled asset approach and don’t have a lot of things to load.

Actual combat remains somewhat of a bore and the plot used to let you battle actual humans in the game is a simple plot convenience that lets them recycle assets to help keep the file size low for this game.

I’d say don’t buy it, but if you like sloppy work for a cheaply made game that most people could put together on the RPG maker forum with basic coding and simple assets than. By all means this game is the game for you! Although if the fan base reads this article, which they probably will at some point, my opinion probably doesn’t matter to you so enjoy the game anyways.

-Daniel Clatworthy

For the record if anyone also wanted to know, I’m not the only person who feel’s this way, a lot of people on Metacritic say the same thing.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Watersports and runaway minecarts.
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.



Njål H Sand

Haven Review: Final Fantasy Explorers

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.

final-fantasy-explorers-cover-600px-600x300Final Fantasy is one of the greatest Role-Playing Game (RPG) series of all time. For me, I started with Final Fantasy III on a ROM emulator, got a PlayStation and bought Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX. It’s a series I have loved since my first encounter. Here we are years later and I am playing Final Fantasy Explorers on the Nintendo 3DS.097_thumb

Now the game starts out like most modern multiplayer titles. Create your character, give them a voice, maybe a different hair color and choose your gender. Nothing major about that. Then you start playing. Your airship crashes and right from the get go you are thrown into a fight with Bahamut, King of Dragons who wants to end you. Now I noticed in this tutorial-like mission that they are teaching you very little in terms of game mechanics, but luckily they do teach you those later on. But a fun fact though, is that you can indeed fight Bahamut and not die; your life will only go down to 1HP. However after a hour of grinding away I learned, thanks to Reddit, that even if I did get his health low enough he has a heal later. So it’s not worth trying to slay him.81GsnuIC75L._SX385_

After that brief, but short-lived battle you find yourself in a town and you are instructed to accept missions, get stronger and explore areas around the Island where you are. The story progresses at the players pace from that point, and it’s mainly about exploring (hence the title). The game takes a very non-linear approach to handling the story line, so it’s best to pay attention if you want to grasp it.

Now upon its announcement they said that Cloud, Yuna, and almost all the Final Fantasy protagonists would be in this game. Since I don’t read Japanese websites I learned that they are optional summons in the game and you get them by unlocking or meeting certain conditions. This includes acquiring 10,000 crystal points (CP) or finding more Eidolons. Another item you unlock as you play is the “monster companion”. If you are playing alone and you want to have a party you can raise monsters you have slain (assuming you got their item drop to be your party member).1430727544-6130-capture-d-ecran

Now moving right along, a thing that confused me for a good while are the crystal points (CP). It is a type of currency you get after missions or from completing sub-quests to unlock abilities or to upgrade your equipment. I failed to realize just how useful it is early on, and was constantly running out. Luckily there is a bug right now to give yourself 99,999,999 CP, assuming you need it and care not for the challenge of honest acquisition.

Another aspect of the game that is somewhat frustrating is the “crystal surge” mutation. Now if you’re familiar with the older Final Fantasy titles, they had what was called a Limit Break or in Final Fantasy IX it was called Trace. What they did for this title is they essentially called the limit break Crystal Surge and when you use it you get up to four random specials to use. Now this is where things get a bit confusing. The special moves affect certain abilities you may have equipped and if you use them while under the effect of a crystal surge your abilities can mutate and gain new abilities on top of what they may already have.

From there you could go to town and learn the new mutated ability and keep crystal surging to increase the current mutation, or mutate it further for unique combinations. Of course there are people like me who put critical strike onto deflect so you constantly can spam a higher chance of doing critical, but there are a lot of unique combinations you can preform. So experiment with it if you decide to pick up the game.

It’s now about time I summarize my thoughts on this title. Do I recommend it? Is it good? If you are a fan of Final Fantasy, I recommend buying and playing this. At times it feels like a cash grab from Square-Enix. But with the amount of effort and detail put into it and how fun it is to play, I still recommend it. Even big Square-Enix knows that a game can be a cash grab and still be good.208703_screenshot_09_l

The game also reminds me deeply of Phantasy Star Online. Being able to play missions with friends and adventure around stages. Even in the level design, Final Fantasy Explorers feels like it has a close connection with it, despite Phantasy Star Online being made by SEGA, and therefore having no tie whatsoever with Square-Enix. I also must say that this title came at a good time for me because not a hugely known fact is that I suffer with clinical depression and for the last four days I have been really down. But playing this game gave me the nostalgia trip I needed. It’s so much fun that I just kind of shut the world out for a bit as I grinded away to get Sephiroth‘s outfit.

My recommendation is to buy it, go play with some friends, go stalk the Reddit threads and make your own explorer with your own unique style. You honestly won’t regret it.

TLDR; It’s really good, I loved everything about it, and I wish they would launch it on the PC
and consoles as a home game because of how much I really enjoyed it.

-Daniel Clatworthy-