Tag Archives: Hell

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 Editorial: Mortido Alpha Demo

Mortido Alpha Demo
I decided to give the Mortido alpha demo a try, due to how interesting it looks. Ironically I came across it after, watching a documentary about Lovecraft. Which is the first thing that springs to mind when playing the game. The setting is most absurdly surreal indeed. With a dark and ominous atmosphere, with scarce usage of color. Then again this is game takes place in the after life it seems. All around there are broken building litter the ground and stony hands penetrate the ground. Somewhere within the crooked buildings I found old bony man. Who offered me information if I could guess the dice he threw. After failing the challenge I was thrown from the balcony. Within the same dusty room, I found a disturbing note. Next to it an odd acting mirror. Eventually I gave up on the notion of guessing the outcome. I left the murky house and went towards another door. On the other side of the massive door, I found a statue. Situated on a bridge leading into the murky water. As I approach the figurine a prompt appears. While interacting with the back of it’s head, I conjured up a blue floating circle, that caused the statue to turn around and face the opposite direction. Clearly it did something, but that was elsewhere. While leaving this curious spot, I was brutally stabbed from behind. Some tall lanky and bony creature blind sided me. Triggering a combat tutorial, where a lot of rapid button tapping conjured my up my sword. Forcing me into a tutorial where I took a brutal beating, under the sound of a narrator.

It’s hard to see if the game is supposed to be scary or if it supposed to be disturbing, However what I can tell from the demo, is that Mortido is a fairly fast phased beat em up game. Where the masked protagonist. Wields a yellow glowing katana, while shadow stepping around fiendish bony foes. Despite their initial cut scene sucker punch and pain induced tutorial. The monsters themselves was very easy to kill and the stamina refilled fast enough to keep dodging them.

There are some performance and stability hiccups here and there atm.

All in all a quite decent presentation. With a very much intriguing story, set in a very interesting and quite bleak, dreamlike setting, With a heavy Japanese inspired art direction and what ever else they feel like. The quite nice graphics does help. Especially for an alpha demo. IF you like it, I’d recommend supporting the developers.

http://www.mortidogame.com/
Njål Sand

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-