Tag Archives: Xbox One Game Review

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 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