Tag Archives: Moe

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: War of the human tanks – Limited Operations

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The battle screen

War of the human tanks is the name of this here turn based strategy game. The title stay true to name, though I find myself hard pressed to call them human tanks. To me they just look like chibi girls with guns, fighting a war against other armed girls. This is by no means a graphically impressive game, or a very big one for that matter. For the most parts backgrounds are made up of photos with one of those generic Photoshop filter on top and the human tanks are crudely drawn and poorly animated. The small sprites are also very hard to see on the scree, due to the horrid non existent resolution, I can only chose between full screen and windowed. Which really brings down the whole visual representation. The biggest selling point is the decent gameplay. The goal is usually to assemble a team of human tanks, whose job is to navigate around on a map, meet interesting human tanks and kill them. Much like a game of battleship, most of the board is obscured in darkness and until you actually see an enemy, not much can be done. This is where the various classes and their special abilities comes into play.

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The usual F to S ranking system!

Some can scout out hidden areas, whilst other can provide long range fire. It’s the usual rock, paper, war, system, where each class has roles and abilities that complement each other. Combat is quite quick and brutal indeed, as most units can only take one hit and the human tank that shot first wins.  Eventually the side that is left standing will win. Soundwise everything is loud and voices are used sparsely. This is where the game shines, the gameplay is fun for quite some time. There is also steam achievements. Naturally this decision tuns the story into a massive wall of text, where the image on top tells whom is talking. More images would really help to tell the story. Show don’t tell as the saying goes. Luckily the music can be turned down along with all the other effects. The music is actually quite good and can be bought along with the trilogy. On start up, the music was insanely loud and aside from the game crashing on me, the very imposing plot and the odd controller layout, the game work as intended. However the intro song greatly amused me indeed and in theory the concept is fantastic. Just not the execution it need some good polish, therefor I have a hard time recommending it, since you’ll have to enjoy turn based strategy games in the first place.

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Get the trilogy here
http://store.steampowered.com/app/263400/

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 review.

Njål H Sand

Haven Review: Sora

SoraTitleFirst 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.

Sora (空) is a Japanese word for “sky”. It also happens to be the name of the protagonist in an upcoming indie bullet-hell shooter developed by OrangeJuice and published by FruitBat Factory. Sora takes place on a planet torn apart by war. Out of the chaos a girl is born with a natural instinct for combat. She is compelled to fight, yet she knows not why (kind of like my mother-in-law).

Sora05Sora‘s premise is simple: shoot and dodge your way through ever-increasingly difficult waves of enemy ships. The game features an optional tutorial, which is presented on a matrix-style grid. The text-based instructions are a bit wordy and hard to follow at times, so most of your learning will be by doing. Move your little Sora character using familiar up, down, left & right directional keys. You’ll also want to map a “sprint” key to evade oncoming enemy shots. Be warned however, sprinting causes Sora‘s shields to heat up. If they overheat, she’ll take more damage when hit by enemy fire.

During the tutorial you’ll learn about weapons, of which there are three:

Long Range Laser: Instantly fires at a locked-on enemy ship. Although it doesn’t inflict heavy damage, it provides an instant strike that cannot be parried by the enemy.

Long Range Missile: Fires at a locked-on enemy ship, but with less speed than the laser. Enemies can fire at it, blowing it up before it reaches them.

Melee Sword: Sora must fly close to the enemy to inflict damage. This makes her vulnerable, but a skilled player can actually morph the melee attack into a variety of power-combos! If you get into trouble, try performing a quick “sprint-evade”. Remember that sprinting causes your shields to heat up, so frugality is key here.

Sora2Before long the tutorial will become fast and frenzied, with bullets and missiles flying everywhere. So when you feel you’ve learned enough, it’s on to the main game!

The first stage has you soaring through overcast skies, dodging new and varied bullets, pellets, energy orbs and rockets. The enemy ships are also sturdier than they were in the tutorial, so you’ll want to conserve your sprints and heavy missiles, lest you overheat too soon.

The real fun for me was in discovering new environments and enemy tactics. I’ll keep the number of screenshots limited, so as not to spoil them. A few extra screens can be seen on Sora‘s Steam Store page. The game officially releases on January 5, 2016.
Sora56So what, if any suggestions can we give for future development? Let’s make a list:

1. Keyboard mappings are awkward. Game play requires to you to switch attacks and maneuvers quickly. So unless you have very long long fingers, you’ll find your gaze darting from screen to keys often. Of course, you can avoid all of this by simply using a console controller, which seems to be the developer’s intended way to play.
2. The game lacks mouse support. I’d much prefer to attack with a click, rather than a key press. Again, the controller mitigates this issue.
3. There’s no easy way to review key bindings. About half way through the tutorial I wanted to look at my mappings. I pressed ESC, and was given two options: restart the tutorial or restart the entire game! Eventually I did remember where all the important keys were.
4. There doesn’t seem to be a natural way to quit the game. Only by pressing ALT-F4 or switching to the desktop and closing the game manually was I able to do this.

Of course, these are first impressions. If there are some special ways around any of the above, I’d love to know them.

At the moment, pricing information for Sora is available neither in the Steam Store nor on GamersGate, where this title will also be sold. If you like the idea of a sweet moe character battling her way through sheer bullet-hell, I’m sure you’ll find value in any reasonable price!

So is Sora worth it? I would say yes. It’s that casual, yet addictive arcade experience that will keep you coming back. A few tweaks to the interface and controls will go a long way to boosting the overall score.

SoraScale-Chris Roberts-