Tag Archives: You

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

     

Curse these accursed undead and this damnable mark, I have been branded and will soon turn hollow and lose my mind, attacking anyone that comes too close. Our world has truly gone down a clogged infected drain and the dead just refuse to stay down. It’s probably a good thing that they decided to lock me up in this stinking, moldy asylum; and the moans of the insipid prisoners never stop.

20160424203358_1

Dark Souls is an adventure in a dark and desolate fantasy world of sword and sorcery, where light is fading and monsters run rampant. A place where the player is literally thrown into the action after a short intro sequence. Aside from this, not much is told about the plot, but every now and then a piece is presented. Most of the story is told through the lore each weapon and armor have and the environment. The people you can talk to are not very helpful and could quite possibly be insane already…though sanity is for the weak.

20160424200446_1
Crystal cave, crystal golem? EASY!

The biggest draw and drawback is the combat, which is quite solid and very meaty. Each fight is a cruel test of limits, where a lot of the enemies have an uncanny ability to twist the attack in the middle of a blow and to hit you when rolling behind them. This tracking will be a make-and-break point for players along with the poorly optimized PC port. However there is a fan patch that fixes the resolution. A game pad is highly recommended. Another noteworthy issue is the lock on camera, that often ends up looking up a creature’s butt as I roll under it, only to fall of a ledge. All over the world there is a lot of loot and many unique weapons and spells to unlock, which means that there is a plethora of ways to play the game. So never let anyone tell you that you are playing the game wrong. Aside from the typical selection of stabbing, chopping and crushing weapons, there are a lot of spells and some very unique weapons to get. This includes a spike and a wagon wheel that also doubles as a shield. Combat is deceptively simple. It’s all based around dodging, blocking and reaction time, which means that if I took damage I did something wrong or got too inpatient. There are no quick-time events (QTE), nor are there any interrupting cut scenes to throw me out of the immersion.

20160424170218_1
You will see this screen a lot

The truly unique mechanic that From Software brought to the table is the ability to invade random players’ games and try to kill them, or summon random strangers to help with bosses and hard areas. It is possible to see the ghost of another player’s final moment and write messages on the ground that others might see. However a resource called humanity is needed to participate in the player interaction, since the player character tuns into a dried out, undead corpse on death.

20160424152738_1

Enemies drop loot and souls. These souls work as a ingame currency for buying, upgrading and leveling up, though that can only be done at a fireplace (which also functions as a checkpoint). Unfortunately, all of your souls and humanity are lost upon death, unless the player can return to the spot and reclaim the loot. There is also a fair share of achievements to get as well.

20160428233450_1

I’m not sure who said that Dark Souls is beautifully bleak, but it’s true. Everything is drab, tired and full of dead things. The world looks very, run down and it works wonders. Each area is connected in a sensible manner, with unlockable shortcuts. Dense tunnels, claustrophobic crypts, smelly bogs and sweeping vistas makes  this world  breathtaking and a grand vision to behold. Every now and then there will be a message such as “Beware of beautiful view”, and with good reason.20160422153109_1

The music does a wonderful job as well. It’s epic and fittingly dramatic. The player can do most of the places and bosses in any order, and some can be skipped altogether. The prepare to die edition also for all the extra content, which is new areas, npc’s and loot. Despite its flaws, I quite  enjoy the game. But I can honestly say that this game is not for everyone. It’s hard, violent, rage-inducing and addictive…and you will die a lot. Naturally, this game is not for young children.

souls

http://store.steampowered.com/app/211420/

Our disclaimer we got this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Njål Sand

Haven Review: Kumoon: Ballistic Physics Puzzle

KumoonTitleFirst 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.

Puzzle games are a favorite for aspiring indie developers. Budgets for voice actors are often not needed, visuals & graphics don’t have to be outstanding and programmers only have to focus on a single, repeated premise. Such is the case here with today’s entry: Kumoon: Ballistic Physics Puzzle; developed and published by Lucky You Studio.

The Finnish word “kumoon” literally means “over” or “down”, depending on the online dictionary you use. But in the context of this game it suggests “falling over” or “falling down”. You take the role of a small android who looks a lot like a character from a recent J. J. Abrams film. The tutorial for the game is quite good, and it’s there that you learn the basic controls; movement, mouse-look, jump and fire. It’s all very clean and straightforward, except for one thing: the controls cannot be reconfigured. You must use A, S, D and W to walk, and the mouse-look cannot be inverted. That pretty much spells the end for me. But of course I gave it the old college try, and did manage to make it through all three levels of the tutorial. I also got about half way through the “Easy” levels. The actual “Controls” menu for the game looks like this:

2016-02-02_00003I can only assume the slider bar with that default setting of “0.20” represents mouse sensitivity. Makes sense, but doesn’t help me. It’s not until you actually begin the tutorial that you see the the assigned keys and controls. It turns out the arrow keys are for turning the camera while standing in place:

2016-02-02_00006Okay, so how does the game actually work? You can see in the picture below that there are cubes scattered about the room. The numbers on each cube represent the amount of points you’ll receive if you knock it over, either by using your body or by throwing a ball at it. Since there are unlimited balls in your inventory, the choice is yours as to how to knock over a given cube.

2016-02-02_00001You’ll also notice stacks of translucent teal bricks, some of which support cubes directly, while others are off by themselves. When you throw a ball at a teal brick, nearby cubes will increase their point value by 1. Keep pelting away at the bricks to augment the cube values even more (6 points is the highest I’ve seen). Don’t tarry once you’ve increased these values; they quickly drop back to “1” if left unattended. The goal is to collect the minimum number of points required to complete the room. This number is shown on the overlay at the top of the screen.

2016-02-02_00005

Occasionally you’ll find special objects, like the green sphere shown above. This particular item acts just like a teal brick, only you can roll it around the room for optimal placement…a very useful and creative feature!

2016-02-02_00004I’m looking forward to getting further into the game, but for now I’m going to wait for configurable controls to be added. For those “default” players who enjoy A, D, S and W, as well as the normal mouse Y-axis, you’ll find this to be a calming, entertaining puzzler. The graphics are clean & crisp and the audio provides nice accompaniment. The rooms get progressively tougher, but from what I see they remain fair and solvable.

2016-02-02_00002So is Kumoon: Ballistic Physics Puzzle worthwhile? Yes it is. It’s priced fairly on Steam for $5 (USD), and for $5 more you can have its first add-on: Kumoon: VR Expansion 01. As a fan of puzzle games in general, I’m interested to see where this title and its future content goes.

KumoonScale-Chris Roberts-

Haven Review: Celestian Tales: Old North

First up is our disclaimer.  We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money have been exchanged for this review.    

CTON Win64 2015-08-16 12-29-43-00At long last there is a game that captures my deep loathing for the “Elite” class you read so much in old folk tales and lore. Now I should note that this game has a variety of characters you can pick from and I just happened to pick the racist little rich girl who believes she is doing the right thing.CTON Win64 2015-08-16 12-21-45-22

Playing as Aria you get a sense of just how prideful her family and herself can be especially when you meet her brother Abel who instructs you to kill a child thief who tries attacking you with a group of thugs. At first she is reluctant to kill the child for the reasons he is begging for his life but Abel tells his sister that if she refuses to kill him. That he will fillet him alive drag him into town and drown him in the harbor and goes on about how long and painful it will be for the poor child.CTON Win64 2015-08-16 12-27-46-75

Again I am talking about a literal child here although no age is given I am guessing he is around twelve. Aria is deeply troubled by this and prays for forgiveness but has no problem talking about her place in the since she was born with blonde hair and white skin she is the one meant to guide the world because providence. (Cough Hitler, Cough Cough.)

The story continues on and takes you to a place where you get trained as a Knight and not a Paladin like Aria wanted and you meet the wise ruler of the land Alain. CTON Win64 2015-08-16 12-34-23-67Who knows that there are differences in class but overall we are all people and we all should be treated as such.
He then takes the youths who came to train like Aria and begins to teach them these lessons by first starting them out shoveling shit from the horses stables so even the Noble ones learn that. They should have a degree of respect for the people who actually do this job.

Now skipping right ahead avoiding more story spoilers for everyone there are a variety of characters to choose from one of which is Isaac a person who came from the slums basically who aims to work his way up to help the lower class. Lucienne who was trained by one of the nations greatest warriors and is taking up knights training as well. All of which these characters have unique and interesting backstories that you can play and experience and it doesn’t stop with just them.           CTON Win64 2015-08-16 14-43-01-59

Now overall the game itself is pretty basic in terms of graphics I found it slightly disappointing because a lot of the backgrounds they drew and made are lacking shadowing and from a game that is in fourth person.

That is a essential must and it can make it hard at times to navigate the area’s because you cannot tell certain areas from another.

The soundtrack is overall very pleasant and very nice to listen to and is very fitting for a lot of the game. CTON Win64 2015-08-16 12-24-07-07So enough about that combat for the game is just like any other role-playing game in which its turn based however unlike some role-playing games this game restores your health after battle which eliminates a lot of the challenge I quite enjoy in role-playing games.

In conclusion it is a pretty great game with a lot of contrasts, that focuses on its story more over than anything else and its simple and easy to follow that even a younger gamer could follow along. Is it worth checking out? I think so and if your a fan of role-playing games I would recommend it even more.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
North