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Haven reviws: Sonic mania

Haven reviews: Sonic mania

«Blue streak speeds by, sonic the hedgehog». Hes back, hes blue and he got an attitude. For those who grew up with the robot fighting fluff balls, this is a true blast to the past. Which for once is a good thing

Telling a story without a voice is quite an impressive feat, even if it is a bit bit bare bone, but no dialogue which good. As usual it is about the rotten egg maister himself Robotnik and his hard boiled chaos crystal schemes.

Gameplay is very simple true and tested, left movement, right movement and jump. The rest is either character specific or tied to a shied. Since knuckles can glide and climb by holding down the button, while tails can fly by spamming it. He really need a cancel flight key. Like pressing down. The most noteworthy feature though, is that going super is a separate key. Not all is good though, the special stages suck hard. The stages takes place on a horizontal track where the goal is to catch an ufo. The problem with this is two fold. The 3d models looks like low polygon glitch fest, complete with horrible character controls and physics straight out of Sonic CD. On the flip side it highlights the problem with doing sonic in three dimensions. Much like a drunk man on ice.

The Sonic Mania music score is fantastically fabulous. With remixes of old song and a slew of new ones. A music test mode is also included. But no polar icecap zone it seems-_-. At this point in time several features would be awesome. Such as having the level music play while going super mode and turning down the pick up blue sphere volume. It is very loud and intrusive. Should be mentioned when all 50 of them are done, a replay them mode opens up.

Note worthy features includes unlockable content which take some effort to acquire. Such as  & Knuckles mode. Where he can tag along as the secondary  character. A slew of stream achievement. Time trail mode and a versus multiplayer mode.

All in all a solid Sonic experience for people who enjoyed the good old 2d sonic game play and fun for the whole family. Not recommended for people whom like to grind achievements.

Always online DRM or not, which is pure bull crap and will piss of so many people.

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: Turok 2 Seeds of Evil

Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

Have you ever had a dream of being a native American man, fighting dinosaurs, aliens and robots, while riding a gigantic triceratops. Mounted with dual grenade launchers? If not, what the hell is wrong with you? It is practically childhood imagination come to life, in a neat and gory package with fantastic death animations. It also sports the wonderfully inventive and equally gruesome cerebral bore launcher. A sadistic weapon which fires a homing bolt that digs out a humanoid targets brain and explodes. All of this is accompanied by neat sound effects and a catchy score. That being said there is something a bit odd with some of the models from the original game. Such as the blinking animation.

The levels in Turok2 are sprawling vistas and complicated labyrinths that will drive anyone insane. In fact that is the biggest issue, that can not be fixed without a total redesign of the game. Essentially the whole game is a needlessly convoluted maze, divided by teleportation pads. Which does rear it’s ugly head every now and then, when a thing can clearly be reached, but an invisible wall stands in the path. I have spent too much time looking for that damnable cage in the land of mad monkey mooks.

The last boss is still a boring bastard, which is easiest to beat with the nuclear launcher, which is littered all over the map

This is by no means the first time Turok 2 has been released on pc, but at least this time around it is a lot better when it comes to the control setup. Not to mention the ability to plug in a gamepad. However one of the most neat thing is the objective markers that can be activated, which shows destroyable things with an exclamation mark. The character models have also had a major upgrade. Which is very easy to notice, when going into the character gallery. As the story      progress various cheats are unlocked and they are as glorious and silly as ever before. Unlike the first Turok, the wireframe mode is back.

Naturally steam achievements are included as well, too bad they disable when a cheat is activated. Plus there are trading cards. The multiplayer is also back in action, in all it’s gory glory. Though it is for the most part the standard affair. All in all a very neat and nifty package, that comes highly recommended for fans of the series. Unless you hate being stuck in a giant maze, whilst searching for the next objective.

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.

Haven Review: Spirit Sphere

What do classic Game Boy color games have in common with Spirit Sphere? The visual appearance and color pallet. Which not many people can pull off properly for a game, which results in poor design, and gameplay. However Spirit Sphere is none of these with excellent design, and a visual appeal I absolutely love due to its classic look.

Spirit Sphere in it of itself is a very simple game with pong like gameplay, a sphere shows up and you use your sword to hit it back to the other side. However the sword is only one of the aspects of the game with various characters to choose from and unique weapons to use the game has a very character based aspect to it because no two characters are alike.

The aspect of the game as I have mentioned is like Pong where you hit the ball and try to score a point and even on Normal mode its quite challenging as I was getting my face handed to me by what looks like a very sinister wizard named Ozo.

During the games you play you can collect power ups to make winning easier from a bow, to bombs it feels like its screaming Links Awakening to me although its nothing like that, well apart in its visual appearance anyways. Another thing that ends up dropping in games is coins which you can use to get unlockable things from a beautiful fountain you can visit as well.

But I think one of the best features of the game so far is that it has a multiplayer feature, although the multiplayer is local-multiplayer only which I find a bit disappointing. Because I do think the game would do very well with a Online Multiplayer feature for people who want to kill time and also have a good time with friends.

The game even offers controller support to make playing it even easier, which makes me really wish I had a controller again because its one of those things that I am greatly lacking at this point in time.
Don’t get me wrong the game is very enjoyable but trying to handle this on a keyboard for me is incredibly difficult and quite hard to pull off.

I even enjoy the upbeat music to the game which sounds incredibly accurate for the era they are trying to represent. In conclusion though the game just screams retro, and not like most pixel-art games today where just because they have sprites they think its retro.Spirit Sphere is a game that takes the designs of a true retro based game’s and brings it to life for modern PC gaming.

-Daniel Clatworthy