Tag Archives: Xbox One

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 Review: Sniper Ghost Warrior 3

Been a while since we had a review from me! So let’s jump into this, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is the third installment of the Ghost Warrior franchise and let’s face it, that was pretty obvious, wasn’t it?

Anyways, moving on! This is actually the first time I have played one of the Sniper games and I was always worried it wouldn’t accurately portray how snipers generally are. When you got to factor in wind resistance, timing, breathing, and all the other factors a real sniper would deal with.

But I was pleasantly surprised at how accurate it actually was. Heck, for a war style game or “action shooter” as so many people kindly put it. I was even more impressed at how many bullets it took to kill me! Not many… Which is very accurate for actual combat? This reinforced the fact that they are going for a very accurate game in terms of game-play mechanics.

My biggest issue so far though with the game-play is simply its story overall and also the fact that almost everyone in the area you are playing in has a gun, although I may exaggerate and say the mother has a gun, the husband has the gun! Little Timmy has a gun!

It’s because in the vast area’s you are in, you don’t know right away who or who isn’t your enemy you generally got to scout out with your drone to find this out. Because if you fail to scout you are pretty much going to run casually into a bunch of guys with guns who will blow your pretty little head off.

Although in terms of accuracy, I guess you could say it is painfully accurate because we never know who our enemies are in times of conflict. Happens a lot in Drone strikes, as well as various other conflicts in towns and villages which is a big thing both in the Middle East and other areas of the world.

Now, in terms of game-play I seriously cannot understand who to switch to my side arm, I only can switch between my Sniper Rifle or my Assault weapon which truth be told is kinda annoying because I really want to Solid Snake my way through compounds to take our enemies and I can’t.

Musical composition is fairly nice and it’s pretty accurate for the region you are playing in as well. Not to mention that the vehicles actually look accurate to the scenery also adding a nice level of immersion to the game that most titles generally don’t got for.

But my biggest issue with the game as a whole is the story at the beginning, where your brother is kidnapped. The whole game revolves around you looking for your brother, but at the same time you are being shot down by the person in charge. Not only is this highly improbable that the military would put two brothers together in a secret covert ops mission, but the fact that they would also let the brother openly search for his kidnapped brother knowing full well it could be a conflict of interest is my biggest issue with the game.

Outside of that, the game is wonderfully accurate, highly enjoyable, and a great time kill as well as NPC kill. I highly recommend it, if you love blowing peoples skulls wide open with a sniper rifle.

Military Update: My brother in law who served in the Armed forces wishes to state that unless you are sitting in your own shit and piss for eighteen hours a day, there is no way they can accurately portray that.

-Daniel Clatworthy