Tag Archives: PC game

Haven Review: Shiness The Lightning Kingdom

Shiness the Lightning Kingdom, I have honestly been looking forward to this game for a incredibly long time, from the moment I saw it on kickstarter I have been following the game obsessively waiting as patiently as I can to get my hands on a copy of it and honestly, moment of truth?

It was so worth it, there are a few minor bugs here and there like getting stuck when you jump up and you land on a area connecting two zones. But outside of that one really annoying bug, and some crashing the game is surprisingly good.

Now, the biggest thing I’ve noticed with the game is its combat system. It is a very unique combat system, unlike traditional RPG’s where you have the lineup of characters fighting by your side this one takes a cue from Street Fighter where one character fights one enemy, however you can trade out during the fight for another character to best match your enemies this ability is also granted to the enemies as well that you fight.

The biggest difference is that the battles are handled in a arena concept. When encountering a bunch of enemies, it makes a dome around the fighting arena and you are forced to battle one on one with all the enemies until there is a victor, subsequently everyone gets EXP from the battle and they don’t need to participate in the battle to get EXP.

However if you plan on learning new skills, or moves you must use them in battle or else that character will never learn them. So it’s a double edged sword, you can have one good character or if you want a team of good characters you need to individually train them all.

Another fun factor of the game is its stage mechanics, where each character has a special skill to help them solve various problems that occur in the stages you play in. Chado can throw rocks or place them, Poky can connect electrical current with his wrench, and the other guy has psychic powers. I forgot his name, but he looks cool!

The story thus far is to primarily get to a place called the Land of Life which for the most part is the grueling aspect of the game. Although having only played the game for several hours at this point, I have been really enjoying the combat and the interactions with the other characters in a comic book mischief type of setting.

Action scenes are done with comic panels and audio dialog instead of a more interactive experience to give the game more of a fun and mischievous kinda feel and honestly? It works really well for the game.

I really enjoy the characters, the story so far, and the soundtrack to the game which helps add a bit more life to the game. I also absolutely enjoy just how colorful and vibrant the game is and its something I openly look for in games because I love to see actual color in games. Not some monochrome gray scaled game that says it’s fun, but a game that openly embraces color, antics, and understands that not everything has to be dark and gritty to be a game.

The interactions with the other characters, the jokes, the chance to jokingly insult a villain, these are aspects which help breathe life into this game and are the main aspects I really love about this title. I feel at times there is just not enough games out there that have these aspects. It’s not always about assassinating someone, it’s not always suppose to be grim. Sometimes we need a bright, cheerful, and fun loving game to break up the grimness of reality not only because it helps immerse us in a fantasy world, but also because it helps bring a freedom and joy that we cannot experience in the real world.

Shiness the Lightning Kingdom is one of those games that help share that fantasy to our reality and helps bring us back to the roots of gaming with its colorful and cheerful atmosphere and array of interesting characters.

-Daniel Clatworthy

 

Haven Review: Adam Wolfe

The Adam Wolfe game was intriguing. Developers were knowledgeable and planned the game out well.  To start, when first opening the game one knows immediately that it’s a mystery type game. The colors, back ground, decor, and Adam Wolfe himself (star of the game) shows it to be a mystery.  The advice on using headphones is a definite. Adam Wolfe opens up by stating he is an investigator of the super natural. He lost his sister Alley several years earlier and has been searching for her.  Immediately you know this is one of the achievements to be completed….to find his sister.

During the game several characters are introduced and are keys in helping to solve the mystery.  The game pulls you into the drama that unfolds in hoping to find answers and solutions to the end results….finding Alley.  There’s lots of obstacles to overcome and to find.  Some are easy, others are not.

There are four sections to complete before you reach the end.  All four sections have multiple puzzles to complete before you reach the end.  What I found, was the puzzles continued to improve with each section.  In the first section, I noticed some of the puzzles were not very instrumental in explanations as to what the player is supposed to do in completing them.  Took a few minutes to figure out there was actually a tutorial which I personally did not know was there till midway through the first section.  Once I learned of the tutorial it was easier to understand what each puzzle was about and there were also solutions to the more difficult ones.  I do feel it would be beneficial to add this to the opening of each game so players know where to find help if they need it.

The second section was similar but much improved on how to solve and complete the puzzles.  I really enjoyed the seek and find items.  some items were in different colors and it took me a few moments to figure out why.  Example of this would be hammer in red, vase in red, and other object words like ball in white.  The red meant to take the hammer, break open the vase and grab the object (ball) inside which one could not find.  Please understand I don’t exactly remember what the object inside was so the ball is just an example. You’ll need to play the game your self and find out.

The third and fourth part of the game had improved significantly on understanding the puzzles.  What I found different from most puzzles was the fact this particular one had you getting into a zodiac and diving under the water by the Golden gate bridge.  I’ve never had a puzzle do that before.  Being an old diver myself, I really enjoyed that.  The only puzzles I did not find appealing, at least for me, was the fights.  It was not well received as I had no idea what I was supposed to do.  there was a bar on top the screen with a fist.  The assailant had me pinned and I had to keep hitting the button and keeping it above a certain point to win.  I actually went to the help screen to figure out what I was supposed to do but it was not very specific so after about ten minutes of pushing the button I was finally out of that mess.  I do feel this needs to be addressed along with one other things (next paragraph) and the game will be perfect.

After completing all the sections I was looking forward to seeing Adam reunited with his Sister Alley.  Instead, Adam was stuck inside an hour glass (which had to be broken to break the cycle) with no way to break it!  His Sister kept apologizing as she was “tricked” into saying his name which was supposedly his demise.  The ending was not what I expected.  More or less a cliff hanger.  After finally completing all those sections I felt the ending should of been better.  It would of been nice to put the demons in their place, rescue the sister and be reunited.  Perhaps Adams little sister, after being taken by these demons and forced to be part of their world when she obviously wanted nothing to do with them, could of been beneficial to Adam in future games.  She could of been a big help to Adam in his supernatural detective work.  Instead all we see is Adam dying in an hour glass, an upset sister apologizing for putting him there, and all his detective friends racing in.  Was he rescued or not?  Are they reunited or not?  Think the story needs a better ending.  Other then that I thought it was a very good game.

-Kathryn Clatworthy

Haven Review: Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma

Zero-Time-Dilemma-logo-Primer-PlayerNow I should mention that Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma  is the first Spike Chunsoft title I have ever played and so with that statement let it be known. I am really enjoying myself so let’s jump right into the review now shall we?

The game is a decision game, a game of choice each with its own consequences and the player faces that quite often. Taking a page from the multiverse theory of multiple realities in which every outcome has actually happened whether good or bad.

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That being said I have played the game for a good while now and I have seen a lot of the results and it is brutal, each with its own unique story and continuation. Which ultimately affects the overall gameplay giving me the player a very unique experience. It is further enhanced also by letting the player go back and redo certain scenarios over again until you have more favorable outcomes.

But lets talk a bit more about the game itself, the game is launching on the Nintendo 3DS, the Sony PSVita, as well as Windows through Steam and we were playing the Steam version. Although a bit buggy I suspect in the future that those issues will be fixed. You can have anti-aliasing support and a few extra graphic settings to make the game run more favorable on your system. But ultimately my experience with that was not so great as no matter what option I choose the game lagged and stuttered and it ran very poorly. Which is also notable in our videos as you watch and the characters lips are all out of sync as well.ZTD_GameBoxes-632x399

another issue I found was a small audio bug where the game would not save your options from BGM, SFX, and character voices. You could lower the volume to these but unless these settings are changed while you were actually playing and had a free use of the options menu during game-play your settings would not be saved.asdf

Now the characters all seem one-sided in their personalities and for me that seems is a bit of a disappointment. You got one guy who is always angry, one guy who is always calm, one girl who is super shy, one girl who is super calm but with a steer demeanor, I could go on but I’d rather not.  The characters don’t really have any unique traits that make me want to like them more apart from their visual appeal and none of them stand out to me in my head mentally.

But, that does work overall with the premise of the game. Where the only means to escape the place you are being held is to kill off up to six other characters to get passwords to open up a sealed door which will lead to your escape. You don’t feel tied to any character or try to save them because of how bland they are and you become more okay with their one-sided character traits to the point where you actually get a jolly out of killing them off.2016-02-22-193445.0

A lot of the issues I’ve run into in the game are minute and small problems but are easily overlooked as the gameplay of the game standouts a lot and has a lot of branching paths from which the player can choose different means of surviving in games to the death and the choice of being able to experience all of the outcomes is really amazing.

The music also really helps set the tone of the game as well as when things boil down to decision time where the player has to choose the outcome that they will live with and not know the results until after it happens. The worst part of that though the intense problem solving you got to do at times where in the end the player could ultimately face death even after doing everything you possibly can to stay alive.

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In conclusion though the game offers a unique and varying experience and is definitely one of the more unique titles we have had the privilege of playing. Which I can only really say I hope you pick up a copy upon its release as it is really good despite its few flaws that I mentioned.

You will enjoy putting all the one-sided characters to death and not regret doing it not even a tiny bit.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

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