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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: 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 Reviews: several Good Old Games

Haven reviews: Several Good old games. GOG is a fantastic service that breathe new life into old titles, which may or may not run properly in new operating systems. Most of that has to do with the original game code being crap and a general lack of compatibility. Some games run fantastic even on Windows 10, while some will only run on a specific OS and some does not run at all. This is a short list of several games I bought from GOG.

Blood: One unit whole blood

It’s violent, filled with blood, mutilations and monsters. It’s a old school fast phased first person shooter, with some inventive weapons and some great sprites. The GOG release comes with the original music and the FMW sequences. Which has not aged well at all. The 3d graphics looks worse than my first attempt at modelling. Which is quite jarring, since the in game graphics are quite good, with detailed sprites. Each level has an unique design and theme, heavily inspired by horror movies. A froze Johnny can be found in a hedge maze. While the game supports different resolutions, they may or may not work entirely as intended. At least they’re there. There is only one big issue and that is the music. It can’t be turned muted, turned down or stopped. Especially in the amusement park the music is loud. Not sure if GOG can fix this.

Swat 4

It’s a game about breaching doors, busting criminals and rescue civilians. Where the biggest question is why that guy ignore teargas and where the devil a suspect dropped his gun. The Ai is questionable, but the levels are fun, with random perp placement. It runs, looks okay for the most part and sports a terrible aspect ratio. However it does come with the expansion pack. The game itself runs fine, minus one place where it had stuttering and slowdown. Apparently there are mods to improve the game. Such as the elite forces mod, that takes the realism up several notches and adds more features.

Sim City 4

Build a town, run the town, play mini games to keep earning more money. Then call in a meteorite and nuke it all to hell. Just for fun. While juggling traffic jams and air pollution. It’s fun, addictive and a great educational game, when it comes to city management and all the problems that comes with it. Runs fine, looks fine and it works.

Roller Coaster Tycooon 2

Run and operate a custom built amusement park. Build attractions and kill guests with a badly designed roller coaster. It’s a seriously fun management games, with many fantastic features. However the sprites and the interface is almost impossible to see. Since everything is so small. Usually these old games have too large interfaces if anything.

Outlaws

Lucas art made a game about a sheriff trying to rescue his wife from a big man, with a lot of money. It’s a first person shooter, with some fantastic levels, questionable physics and a insane difficulty. The dynamite has some of the worst physics I’ve ever encountered in a game. It’s also prone to random crashes.

Alien Breed: Tower Assault

Your ship has crashed and the place is over run with alien monstrosities. It has coop, challenging levels and limited ammo. With enemies that spawn in your face a lot of the time. It runs great and has a cheesy as hell intro movie. It’s top down and easy to play, very hard to complete with several paths to take.

Anachronox

A gum shoe detective has an office on the top floor of a seedy bar, set on a very odd planet. it’s a turn based RPG game, with a great story, some really interesting characters. But is littered with so many bugs, that i’d recommend watching a let’s play on Youtube. I have had all of the movie sequences go on repeat, while I was still playing. Looping them when ever I got back to the spot. At one point I also fell through the world.

Planescape: Torment

A man wakes up in a morgue, with no memory, next to a talking skull. It’s one of the few RPG games that brings the town of Sigil to life, with good graphics and for the most part avoidable combat. It’s a terrific story, with a lot of twists and turns around every corner.

Tyrian 2000

Jump from system to system, collect data logs and kill hordes of enemies. It’s a top down scrolling game, where  you control a heavily armed and poorly protected space craft. It’s an okay game, with some dry graphics and intense bosses and a hair raising difficulty.

Archimedean Dynasty


The world has gone down the crapper, along with man kind. Now everyone lives under the sea and commute with submarines. Which pilots a lot like space crafts. As far as sandbox games goes, it’s very open ended, with some catchy tunes and hard enemies. Plus a plethora of bugs. It may or may not run properly. Personally I could not see anything on the screen, followed by random crashes. Hopefully a fan patch or GOG will make it run better.

Njål H Sand