Tag Archives: Software

Haven Review: Ara Fell

  maxresdefault  I am a lover of RPG’s some are good, some are bad and some are decent but presents a fair amount of issues. Don’t get me wrong, I truly love the deeply laid stories found in role-playing games but that is only half the pleasure of one.

Ara Fell lives up to its title. Where someone falls down a hole. Now moving right along let’s get into the dynamics of this game. They give you an option of a story mode only which you can one shot all the enemies you encounter in the games story. Something like this is, needed I think. As a lot of the stories for role-playing games is what interests people in playing them.988xt7y

However as a traditionalist I have decided not to use this route and kept playing. Next up it gave me an option to disable tutorials which I disabled but it was all a lie, a lie I tell you, lies!!!

I then spent the prologue getting mandatory tutorials so I could move on and it drove me absolutely insane, as did the issue with cut-scenes.  Some cut-scenes were skip-able and others were mandatory and it never explained to you which ones are which.

Some wait for you to hit next so you can continue on with the story while others just kept fast forwarding through the text not even giving you a chance to really read what is going on there so for a person like me with dyslexia it was near impossible to figure out what is going on.ara_fell_review_image_04

The game plays as a attempt to be funny during some scenes and, I feel it tries to get me to like the characters a bit more than I should have. Nothing really stood out to me accept the beautiful design of the game which is reminiscent of classic Final Fantasy titles in terms of style.

Now for the music, when the game actually game me music to listen too I thought it was kinda nice. Although albeit a bit buggy at times which killed most of the audio I would generally hear from it. But the main issue I have with the game is how it tries very hard to make it self-stand out from all its RPG predecessors in terms of mechanics with a very in-depth crafting system and ATB battle system with unique skills and combat flow.ss_296f70972f1e26470d286991c11eed2d19ef670b-600x338 I know it may sound like an unfair comparison but Square-Enix wrote the book on what a RPG battle system should be for classic themed RPG’s. A [Active Time Battle] system can indeed work but  if not clogged down with various other abilities, effects and everything else.

The more basic battle system is the best battle system, if its made overly complicated, people will have a hard time enjoying it. Same with a crafting system in-depth in a simple RPG. It’s not needed, keeping it simple is one of the best things of classic RPG’s. In a 3D environment you should expect to see more complex things but in a 2D environment its best to stay away from these things.arafell-3

However despite my quarrels with the mechanics of the game, the game remains very close to its true roots in terms of RPG’s. After a while the characters start to warm up to me, and the tone of the game with its light-hearted atmosphere remains enjoyable.

In the end its worth checking out, if you want something different from the rest.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

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.

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Haven Review: Spheria

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

Marble-rolling games occupy a special niche in the arcade game genres. Players typically take the role of a tiny ball, rolling and careening its way around obstacles and pitfalls on the way to an exit point  The game we have for you today is slightly different. It’s called Spheria; developed by Daydream Software and published by Black Shell Media.Spheria1In Spheria, the “marble” is actually a large, heavy medicine ball. Using either keyboard or mouse, the idea is to navigate compact, yet tricky tabletop maps. Positioned precariously on each map is a series of checkpoints. You must roll the ball over each in order to unlock the exit. Now here’s where it gets interesting. The checkpoints don’t instantly light up the moment you encounter them. You must stop and linger for a second as they power themselves up. This is not as easy as it sounds, for the surrounding blocks and maze walls will do whatever they can to stop you!
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The first obstacle you’ll encounter are the basic building blocks. Green blocks turn yellow when you bump into them. Yellow blocks turn red, and red blocks simply disappear when struck, leaving a gaping hole in the floor. As with most marble games, you don’t want to fall off the map if you can help it. Another type of obstacle is the blue block.

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As in another famous puzzle game, blue is the color of repulsion; it will bounce your ball away upon contact. Unfortunately, you can’t simply avoid these blocks. Some checkpoints are nestled within groups of these bouncy nemeses!

Next, let’s examine the flooring. Most tiles are a plain gray (safe) color. However there are others to watch out for. Muddy tiles will slow you down. Icy tiles are slippery and will alter your direction of movement. Arrow tiles only allow passage in the direction they point. One of my favorite sequences involves reaching a checkpoint guarded by blue blocks and arrow tiles!Spheria5By far the trickiest mechanic I’ve come across is the dissolving floor. Green tiles are safe, but only for a short time. They quickly turn red, warning you of their impending disappearance. If you’re on a tile when it vanishes, you’ll be dropped off the map into oblivion. So you can see how levels which combine all of the aforementioned elements may get frustrating, but at the same time very rewarding when solved.Spheria4aIs there anything the player can do to acclimate to the game’s demanding skill? Indeed there is; it’s called the tutorial! These entry-level maps do a great job teaching you about the physics of the game, and the accompanying boundaries.Spheria6

So overall, is Spheria worth it? Priced on Steam at $4 (USD), the answer is yes. Despite the game’s inherent trickiness (so prevalent in arcade titles), Spheria‘s addictive nature will keep you returning for more. Add in it’s 22 Steam achievements and you have a fun, beer-and-pretzels arcade leveler with lots of replay value!

-Chris Roberts-SpheriaScale

Tech Review: Facerig

review-facerigFacerig is a very unusual program where you can actually have a lot of fun. So much fun in fact, That I have literally spent a few hours alone on it, just talking to myself and learning the software so I can make some funny videos later.

However, I’ve found a few notable problems with the software and after a quick Google search I’ve learned that they are either still working on fixing them, or that the developers have stopped caring about fixing them.20131215151557-FaceRig_alpha-stage_03_-_Copy

When I first tried recording with the software, I was met with a loud hissing and static noise that made it impossible to hear my own voice. The problem was that the software doesn’t auto-detect your microphone/headset, rather it sets its own default (even if it’s disabled). This was odd, but regardless I set it to my headset and moved on. But even after doing that, recording with FRAPS was also pointless because it still detected the audio input according to the earlier settings.

But after trying LoiLo I was finally able to clear up the audio for recording and it was pretty great. I really enjoyed it overall, however after restarting the program I found out that the software does not save all of your settings and you must manually reset your microphone and headset each and every time you want to use the software.FaceRig Games

Now this is what I meant by the developers not fixing the issue yet after a quick Google search I learned that this has been a persistent problem for the software and even after a year you think they would fix it but they haven’t so far.

But let us move on to the actual software, it does have a lot of variation and once you do get your webcam working and microphone working for lipsync the animations you can do are incredible, however this all goes without saying that you got to make sure its all probably being detected by the software each and every time you use it.

Their exporting feature also for video and audio is a little disappointing which is the reason why I am relying heavily on using Loilo or FRAPS for the software to get better results, they even have a green screen feature for the software which is amazing for editing the images into other videos but if you are using AVS or other software it won’t be as good as you would hope.maxresdefault

All in all by its own right the software is remarkably fun and I have literally killed a bunch of time on it and the bugs I have encountered although widely known has not stopped people such as myself and others from using it.

I recommend you pick up the software and give it a try sometime it’s really amazing.

-Daniel Clatworthy-