Tag Archives: Shooter

Haven Review: Drifting Lands

Now in my time I have played a lot of side scrolling games, starting from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) all the way to the glorious Sega Genesis and despite my enjoyment of those titles they never felt complete to me, they never felt like they were what the genre could be and what Drifting Lands accomplishes.

Humble in their beginnings they created one of the first genre of game where you have a ship of some kind that you got to blast through hordes of enemies that generally spew in from the right side of the screen. All the while you are madly dodging lasers, bullets, bombs, and explosions and everything else that is trying to kill you from giant space worms to other alien ships.

Drifting lands takes from its predecessors in the basics where you got the ship, its bullet hell in dodging and fighting. But that is where the comparisons end, they have added level select, they have added in stage difficulties, they even added a currency system and what I most absolutely love. They added the ability to buy and build a variety of ships from parts you scavenge from destroyed enemy ships.

However, this also presents a problem because with multiple ships to own, build and customize with a variety of weapons there is a downside to it all. That being you can lose your ship and all the rare parts you get while you play through stages. Which at this junction breaks my heart, because I got a really amazing rare item that boosted my ships stats through the roof, but upon fighting a enemy boss my ship was destroyed and I lost that part never to see it again.

Now, to this extent they have given the option to go classic mode where you will lose your equipment like I have. Never to be able to get it back again and you got to grind all over again for hours and hours on end if you hope to find it again OR you can do a safe mode which items will only break and you can repair them in the market place.

My only wish is that I would like an option to change between the two game modes while in game but, that is not do-able. So if you want to play it safe you got to make that choice very early on at the start of the game or else you may run the risk of losing your really good stuff.

Drifting Lands is one of the best side scrolling action games I have ever played with its very in-depth customization features, toppled with its beautiful scenery and exciting soundtrack. It stands out to me as one of the best if not to date the greatest side scrolling title to date.

The only thing I wish they did better was changing the game mode option freely, because I deeply regret being blown up, I lost a really awesome Guardians of the Galaxy Easter egg which was a old cassette.

If you are a fan of the classic side scrolling genre and have always wanted more from it, but also sticking strongly to its roots than look no further, Drifting Lands is the game for you. I’ve enjoyed it for countless hours.

Also the man in charge of the market looks suspiciously like Anthony Bourdain

-Daniel Clatworthy

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 Reviews: RIVE – Wreck! Hack! Die! Retry!

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Wreck! Hack! Die! Retry!

In RIVE – Wreck! Hack! Die! Retry! it all starts with me taking a trip through an asteroid belt, looking for a derelict hulk or two to loot. Naturally I found the      biggest baddest and most broken ship possible, drifting though space. A craft with a very welcoming and functional AI.

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I like robotic spiders a lot

RIVE is a twin-stick shooter, which means that I control the craft with one stick. Then use the other to shoot in the direction I point it in. The game itself uses quite good looking and well animated 2d sprites to populate the ship and give it life. Everything has life to it, despite being mechanical monstrosities. Naturally RIVE contains exactly what it says on the tin: Wreck! Hack! Die! Retry.

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Within the wreck, vicious enemies will attack you from every side in vicious waves. Throughout the game story various hacks are unlocked, these are used to take over certain foes. Such a nifty healing bot or a machinegun turret, plus several more. Unfortunately I die a lot and you will do the same. Which means I have to retry. Luckily checkpoints are plentiful.

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In RIVE I use a spider robot, which can transform into a nimble flying spacecraft as well. The game play switches between being stuck in a small area, where waves spawns from different sides. To the classical run for your life and some exploration. Which leads to many seemingly unfair situations. Yet the they are very much possible to overcome . Despite the games default being hard mode, followed by speed-running and one credit mode. You know, the kind of mode where you die and it’s game over. That is why RIVE has a health bar and several upgrades that can be bought from bolts throughout the story. For those whom are completionists, there is also a leader board and Steam achievements as well.

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The music is quite fantastic and catchy, but it does turn itself down when there is a slow section. Despite the overwhelming onslaught of enemies, there are several breaks in the action. This is a very good thing indeed, it also gives RIVE time to add some story and life the very few characters in-game. The protagonist is a very chill and unshaven engineer. With a fairly good voice actor, that has great interactions with the very questionable and quirky AI within the ship. There is an decent story within the game but I’ve probably told to much about it allready.

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Unfortunately one of the most common enemy types I encounter, are of the kind that smash my face in and goes boom. I’ve never been much fan of suicide enemies. Other than that fighting in small space and being swamped by the enemy is a bit annoying at times.

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Even though I enjoy the game greatly, most people will probably find it a bit too hard and very frustrating. Yes the game flows smoothly and is easy to control. But there is a lot going on at the screen.

rive

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.

Njål Sand