Tag Archives: Steam

Haven Review: Seasons After Fall

Seasons After fall, in the most simplistic of ways it is a beautifully orchestrated game, from the majesty of its art-work to the very core elements of its game-play. There was another game I reviewed a while back called Ori and the Blind Forest and this game is most definitely on the same level of greatness as something produced by Microsoft Studios.

You play a seed, or you are often referred to as a Seed not really sure in this aspect because at a junction the story presents a narrative that argues this point. But anyways, once you arrive you are told to visit four different Sanctuary’s and meet each Guardian as you progress through each stage. The game involves basic puzzle solving, combined with stunning artwork, soothing melodies, platform gaming and lastly simply perfect narrative.

It is a fairly simple game and I finished it with a hundred percent completion in nearly eight hours being generous with time as well. But just because its simple doesn’t mean it is any less enjoyable, the game orchestrates itself in a manner that is both enticing and provocative to keep the players entertained. If you are a young gamer and you don’t want to expose them to more violent games, or any game that in general has violence in it. Than this would be the ideal game for you and your kids.

As the game has no enemies to combat and it relies heavily on its story telling capabilities and stunning artwork. However I will say this, for younger people the puzzles will in general keep the children occupied as they try to solve them. I found a few someone challenging myself which is why it took me eight hours to complete the game instead of finishing it quicker.

But I do have to note at times the controller felt very ridged and not my controller by the actual character controls itself. If you do not maintain momentum as you play through the game the character becomes a bit more listless and sluggish making solving puzzles that require jumping a bit harder.

I also encountered a bug in the game during its second phase, I guess you could call it that triggered my vibration settings on the controller and never shut them down. So now I got a glorified neck massager to help me stay at ease. Although this can be a bit tedious in general if you just enjoy having it vibrate when you jump or fall.

The only real solution to this problem is that you can turn it off in the settings menu but it completely turns the function off, if you turn it back on it will just continue vibrating regardless and not stop at all.

The game overall though is very solid, with stages that change for each segment you complete, a amazing mechanic to control the seasons to help solve puzzles like the Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons, and a beautiful and artistic world that feels as if it was painted onto my screen for me to enjoy.

Despite the game being really short, I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to play a very relaxing game. Seasons after Fall is more about the experience rather than the challenge and I’ve found it very fulfilling both as a game and as an art piece.

-Daniel Clatworthy

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 Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

Haven Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

In the in fourth first century there can be only war and that is one thing Warhammer Dawn of War has always done right. From a visual standpoint the latest installment looks lovely and units are very well defined. The environment looks very bad in a good way. Since the theme is war and destruction., every thing is ruins and mostly gray and brown. With an every increasing pile of broken bodies and bags of blood. As for the music, it’s moody, instrumental with a touch of heroics. With decent sound effects and it’s easy to pick out the different audio ques. Every unit has a heavy British accent that fits the Warhammer universe quite well. Technically there is a rock paper scissor logic going on, where each squad has various active abilities to lob at heretics and xenos alike. Business as usual, it’s also possible to summon various heroes that has abilities of their own and a quite commanding presence on the battle field. Which brings me to a very annoying and very true problem with games such as these. Micro management from a hell. Some units such as the snipers has to deploy, while some are meant purely for close quarter combat. Some are back line and others are mobile. Combine this with a bit sluggish response times and clunky path finding, where you have to rapidly switch between units to gain the best effect. Sure I can just clump them into a big pile and right click, but that only works against stupid people. A rare commodity in a real time strategy game. Combine that with having to click on various buildings to order units, upgrades such. It does become a handful and quite vexing indeed.

In the open beta of Dawn of War 3 there is only one game mode, where the goal is to crush the power core. Where point capture is key to gaining resource acquisition points. Which in turns summons units. No longer can squads be replenished, they have to be near a base building to do that. Each match gives experience points and skulls that can be used to learn new abilities and special orders for the heroic units. Along with some pr-order bonus skins and some skin that unlocks with level. I can’t say anything about the story mode as it is not part of the beta, it’s purely multiplayer at the moment. However I’m not convinced that Eldar has any chance what so ever to with most engagements. Especially since they are not built for defense. For the most part it feels like the Ork stomps all, eventually. It’s not bad game, just not my cup of tea. Too much micro.

Njål Sand