Tag Archives: Wii U

Haven Review: Teslagrad

Teslagrad

In a Steampunk world, Science a boy is on the run, escaping into a mighty tower full of perils and wonder, where the story is told without a word. This is a very impressive undertaking, since games are usually an audio/visual medium. I review it because I find it enjoyable. In this Nordic-inspired world, the terrors of the tower are many and the secrets are hard to find. The platforming is solid and your powers are based around electricity; hence the title. Throughout the game there are various murals that depict the story of the land and stages where automatons preform a play.

Now i know how being a Gerbil feels like!
Now i know how being a Gerbil feels like!

I think most people would classify this as a “Metroidvania” game, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. There’s a lot of exploration going on, but that’s purely for unlocking secrets.

The path ahead is quite linear and follows a clear, defined line. However it’s totally possible to backtrack. Throughout the game you’ll find various useful items that are required to solve the puzzles and traverse the rooms of the tower. These include a glove that can change the polarity of various objects and boots that zap the player through metal bars, into enemies and across chasms. Overall, it’s an easy control scheme and a simple concept done right. Graphics are nice and colorful, and at times moody. The bright eyed pint-sized boy fits well into the world of hand drawn sprites, where every enemy and boss looks unique.

Touch the electric current and die
Touch the electric current and die

Yes, there are some epic and fun boss battles with dramatic music and intense action. This brings me to the sound design that is very well done and fits into the theme of the world. It never got on my nerves. Since this is a very adorable platformer, there’s no blood and gore. Players of all ages can enjoy it. However, it can be a bit hard if players aren’t familiar with such games, or are very young.

Big bird boss beating!
Big bird boss beating!

All in all, Teslagrad is a solid game from a solid Norwegian game company, and was made using the Unity engine . The game can be bought on Steam, GOG and Wii U.

teslagrad

Steam store page.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/249590/

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.

Njål H Sand

Haven Review: Lego Avengers

logoFirst 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.

Lego. Most of us grew up with these amazing little building blocks of joy. I know I did and I really enjoyed making up fantasy worlds with them. Speaking of fantasy worlds, Marvel Studios and Warner Brothers teamed up with Lego to create Lego Avengers, and I must say it maxresdefault-4-1449431835938is my first Lego game title.

Right off the bat it throws you into action and gives almost no guidance as to the controls; for the most part it expects you know what to do. I didn’t, but after a while I finally got a pop-up saying I needed to hold “B” and play as Hawkeye to shoot a Lego rope.

I was quite literally shooting things across a small river for nearly half an hour before figuring out what to do, and that wasn’t even the worst part. They’re is a vast degree of puzzle- solving involved to get past certain obstacles. It has left me confused and dazed, but to other players (hell probably even a ten-year-old) the game is a lot easier to play.

I’ve always been worried about the learning curve with the Lego titles after seeing many popular YouTubers, such as ZackScott play them and what I thought was easy wasn’t…but enough of my ranting about that.fgtv.dimensions.ny3_

The story is pretty good and it follows the plot with Age of Ultron which I really enjoy, and Lego Ultron just looks ridiculous in his design and it even gives me a good chuckle with his dialog.

I am really enjoying the twist Lego has been putting on cinematic movies and other famous characters. The game also sticks to the family-friendly regimen, reminding all of us that we have imaginations and that we should use them. It brings life to fantasy characters in a way both children and adults can enjoy.

Now the orchestra for the game sounds at times like it has been ripped exactly from the Avengers movies and I’m not sure if that was intentional. But either way, it fits for the theme of the game and stays true to its roots in that aspect. Although since it is a game, it expands upon the Age of Ultron story line a bit more. That is to say the story is still good, it’s just I feel like some of the places in it could be cut out.screenshot 2015-10-09 15.13.24.png

Voicing for the game is also spot-on and I really love how they brought the characters to life; most notably Iron Man. But I think a fault for the game lies in its reluctance to instruct newcomers on how to play a Lego title. Everything about the game is good, but that. Perhaps they will release a update and add a tutorial so that people like myself can get a better handle on the controls.

In the end I do recommend Lego Avengers for its great story-telling, its diverse characters and its great soundtrack. If you ever get the chance, I recommend picking up a copy.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
Lego

Haven Review: Skylanders: SuperChargers

First 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.

Skylanders_SuperChargers_Logo_PNG_1433160566 Alright, before I get into this one I want to say that I’ve played it and the main story is completely playable with just the starting kit and beginner toys. That being said, let’s jump right in!

Skylanders are little figures of plastic amiibos that would easily devour parents’ wallets without a second thought. These toys are used to bring to forth characters in the game Skylanders or Skylanders: Super Chargers, and boy are they expensive. Now I’ve taken the time to play through the game, and apart from enjoying myself I felt the game was way too easy; even on “Nightmare Mode”. The game itself is marketed to kids, so that’s probably why there’s a cap on the difficulty.

What stood out most for me is the game’s voice actors. We have Richard Horvitz (better known as Zim from Invader Zim) playing the villain known as Chaos. We also have the voice actor for Buzz Light year of Star Command, Patrick Warburton playing a support role to the protagonist, which is you, the Skylander. Being completely honest I felt like Patrick Warburton was a wasted talent in the game. His character’s dialog was good but its overall design didn’t seem perfect for his voice. I just couldn’t grow attached to the character; it did Warburton no justice.wp3

Now on to game-play. A lot of times the game goes into a “fourth person” view, showing an entire area and forcing the player to drive around with a fixed camera angle. The controls are set those of a racing game. Needless to say, it made playing certain stages incredibly difficult. It’s extremely challenging for a “kid’s game”. Other game play sequences however brought the player to race track areas, where they would have to collect whatever the game’s currency is called and avoiding enemies. You must also fight them using supercharged vehicles, which in my case are a small fire-like car, a weird sun shaped figure and a boat that doubles as a sub.

Afterwards, you are forced out of it to fight enemies in a more natural state with special moves and basic attacks. However I should note that in this state you move at a snail’s pace and there is no run button. I kept looking only to find nothing. The only upside to this game though, is that almost all the stages…even the race tracks…are really small, and take only a minute or two to actually complete.

However I will say I did find the cut-scenes rather nice; they remain probably the best things of the game. The overall animation quality is great. I also really love how for each figure and character, you can buy upgrades. SSA_ScreenShot1_SpyroYou can even upgrade the original Skylander toys, since they are compatible with Skylanders: Super Chargers. Hell, I could play as Spyro the Dragon, if I wanted!

Despite the good and the bad, I still cannot overlook the obvious; that being how much money you have to unlock every feature in the game. To play the game and the story all you need is the starting figures. In each stage there are three missions in total. One you do in an aerial vehicle, another in a water based vehicle and the third is in a land based vehicle.

By default the game only comes with two heroes and one land vehicle, which means to unlock the other missions you must purchase more toys. The toys are setup in packages consisting of one hero and one vehicle, or as standalone characters and vehicles. You therefore need to buy two sets of toys to unlock the other missions. But wait! It also has optional missions where you can play through special stages. But to do so you need a vehicle of every elemental type! Well to cut straight to the point, my math and IGN’s math are fairly similair in regards to how much it would cost to play every single aspect of the game. It’s a hefty chunk; upwards of $540 (USD), and that’s not counting special editions and other smaller things. Also, to unlock various other races in the game you must buy special trophies, as well as unlock them during game-play.spit-fire

Now I’m not saying the game isn’t worth it if you have the money. You could easily pawn it off as a monthly chore reward for your kids. But that still doesn’t take away from how much it would cost and how much kids would probably yell “Mom, I need this. You don’t understand, I need it to play the game!” and throw a tantrum in a store somewhere.

For what it’s worth, the voice acting made up for the game’s faults, and seeing as how the game wasn’t designed for someone like me I would say it is a win. I’m not saying you should buy it, I am also not saying you should not buy it. What I am saying is that it’s a fairly good game. Do what you want with your money.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
Skylanders