Tag Archives: pocket

Haven Review: Pokemon Gold and Silver


Greetings trawler and welcome to the magical word of Pokemon, a place of untold mystery filled to the brim with mighty beasts, fluffy critters, a bucket load of weird things and a fair share of Eldrtich abominations wanting to feast on your soul. In this lovely pastel-colored world, children as young as ten are sent out to become a Pokemon trainer; someone who can wield the mighty powers each Pokemon contains. However I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s mostly children who did badly on their aptitude tests that have to travel across the land. This might also explain why fishermen with only “Magicarps” are in the party. In other words, these poor uneducated buggers throw fish at you…weak aquatic creatures that flop around on the ground.

A move that involves only flopping and Splashing around in front of the opponent. It has no effect. Image found on Google.

As Pokemom participate in vicious fights against other monsters, they will eventually become stronger and “evolve” into a bigger and much more vicious version, though the process should be called a metamorphosis. After all I was taught that evolution was something that happened over a very long time through generations. But I’ll crack that up the likelihood that the local scientist in town could quite possibly be bonkers with no formal education. So I’ll stick to the term “evolution”.

The most common way to proceed through the game is via combat, though some rare exceptions occur. Either through elemental rocks or when night sets, some evolve through trading with other trainers, and a selective few by holding an item while being traded. These also seem to grow strong faster, as well. A new trend that recently occurred a well, is the ability to breed Pokemon by putting two of the same gender at the ever-friendly Caretaker’s place. Eventually they lay an egg that will hatch into baby, and if its nature is right will get a little stronger than the rest, by fighting certain Pokemon. Rumor has it that a Pokemon with different color might just appear…and it’s ultra rare! On my journey I got some new tools, as well. This includes a snazzy phone with a map function, though I’m not sure why these deadbeat trainers I fought on the way want to have my number. It’s not like the eventual rematch will be any less one-sided.

Fact of Pokemon life.
Fact of Pokemon life.

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for several decades or in The Congo, you have probably heard of or seen a Pokemon product. Whether this is a good thing or not is for you to decide. My first encounter was the pesky Trading Card Game (TCG), which almost no one played (yet everyone and their mother had a card or ten). I was clearly a target demographic when Nintendo launched its nefarious plot to make money off funky critters that fought each other in an arena…essentially a combination of cock fighting and match of rock-paper-scissors.

The old and the new version.
The old and the new version.

The first in the series I actually played through was Pokemon Gold, the sequel to Red and Blue, which added more of everything; new monsters, new locations and a lot of post-game content. The formula mostly follows the idea of fighting eight gym leaders, then challenge the elite four and lastly the champion. As part of the post-game content, there were eight more gym leaders to beat and to have a climatic battle against. Red was the champion from the previous game.

Slightly upgraded graphics.
Slightly upgraded graphics.

Eventually Gold and Silver got a remake named Soul Silver and Hearth Gold, which included a lot of the new elements introduced in later games. This includes Pokemon that need a certain level of happiness to evolve. Aside from better graphics and the addition of some mechanics the game includes a pedometer, a device that counts the number of steps the user has taken during a walk. It is also possible to transfer a Pokemon into the device to level it up while walking, and trade a random item with another person who also has such a device.

The main series is formulaic as all hell and is an example of how to make a highly addictive, turn-based role playing game correctly.

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.

While you’re at it, check out this Pokemon fancomic.

Njål H Sand

Haven Review: ShellShock Live

First up is our disclaimer.  We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.    

Now I know I’m probably going to upset the fan-base for saying this but…ShellShock Live has quite a lot of similarities to Pocket Tanks; so much so that to me it’s just a try-hard imitation!

shell However, after playing it for quite some time I’ve come to the conclusion that it may have a lot of similarities but it is still its own thing. With almost hundreds more different weapons and a huge online multiplayer. Where Pocket tanks you had to play locally and all of the weapons you wanted came in separate DLC packs that you had to buy Shellshock live gives every weapon it has to you at the very start.

However a lot of the weapons are weak in power and you have a leveling system not only for your tank but also for the weapons you use to help evolve and change the game. Mind you there are still quite a number of striking similarities a lot of the players online even noticed this. As well as the creator of Pocket Tanks when I reached out to him but he wanted to assure me and everyone out there that the game tanks a unique twist on what they have offered for years and went as far as to say.

“Imitation is the best kind of flattery”

The controls for the game are strait forward and easy to learn. You move your tank left and right and then you move your turret left and right and increase how much power your attack is before you fire your weapon. Which consists in this game of Angry Birds, and various other single shot or triple shot weapons.4-1024_3722 The game really does deliver on its uniqueness but at the same time the online mode feels greatly lacking and having to unlock all the weapons by playing online only is quite a time kill as well as a buzzkill. A lot of the players I talked too hope that the game will improve and get better as time goes a long as do I. Because it is quite a fun game to play and I wish it had a local multiplayer mode also.

Something so basic with a lot of strategy put into every single play and games can last from five minutes to forty five minutes. Is the game worth it? I think so and I recommend people get it if they were a fan of Pocket Tanks as a kid. It may be its own thing but it has so many similarities I grew to love the game very quick.

-Daniel Clatworthy-


Haven Review: Shiftlings

16248329459_338885a8cf_bFirst up is our disclaimer.  We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all views in this article our are own. No monies have been tendered for this review.

Shiftlings, from Rock Pocket Games is an interesting take on the traditional left-and-right platformer, where you take control of two alien twins; one green and other red. The twins can be controlled either by a single player or via cooperative tandem.

In this game, the object is to get from the beginning point on a map to some sort of exfiltration spot. As you progress, you’ll navigate tight crawl spaces and precarious jumps, as well as activate mechanical contraptions along the way.

Shiftlings-Screen-3In addition to the game’s arcade-like play, Shiftlings also follows a great story. It seems that one of the twins has had a bit too much to drink…cola, that is…and is very gassy. As a result, he’s blown up like a balloon, while the other twin has not done so. The smaller of the two therefore can get through crawl spaces very easily, as well as jump and activate switches as needed. The larger twin is useful for stepping on floor plates and providing a “jump point”; a trampoline-like effect where the smaller twin bounces on top of his larger brother to reach higher spots on the map. Along the way, be sure to look for floating cola bottles. You can opt to collect these to earn more points, as well as ubiquitous Steam achievements!faf94cb50428e6efcca825cd48e109e266d8ea63The best part of the game for me is that you can transfer the gas at any time from one twin to the other, using the umbilical cord that constantly tethers the two. The idea is to transfer the gas at opportune moments, depending on where each twin is currently standing; a truly cooperative effort. While this operation can be done single-player, it’s a LOT more fun with a partner.

Shiftlings_Screen4Is Shiftlings worth it? Absolutely Yes. The game’s graphics are incredible. In fact, sometimes they’re so good that it’s hard to tell the difference between the background and the game map itself. The platforming action is also very smooth, and I was able to learn the moves in short order. As the story continues, so does the excellent writing. At times I was laughing so much that I nearly dropped the controller. This actually brings up a serious point. Although you can play with either a keyboard/mouse or controller, you’ll most likely find the latter easier to use. My only suggestion would be to add a mechanic where you can transfer the gas equally between the twins. Perhaps a giant balance scale requiring both characters to be of equal weight to level out. This and future suggestions are of course purely inspirational; not correctional!

If you have a penchant for this type of game-play, the gas-filled brothers will quickly become your go-to sidekicks.

-Chris Roberts-Shiftlings