REVIEW: Scrap Riders is a unique mash-up of two very different genres
Scrap Riders is a grimy and hilarious survival game, deftly balancing interactive investigative segments with action packed beat-em-up gauntlets. The Scrap Riders, a gang of motorcycle-riding outlaws, set out across a ruined landscape where America has ceased to exist in order to reclaim something of theirs. As the underdogs try to come together, they’ll find themselves at odds with both sides of the spectrum as the law and criminal underworld come to oppose them.
Scrap Riders rotates between two game modes, investigation and combat. Investigation consists of moving around various as Rast, a loveably crass character with a passion for heavy drinking and cracking skulls. You’ll gather information and items by talking to other characters and checking out your surroundings. There are a multitude of questions to ask each character in order to find out the information you need, and the dialogue in these exchanges is quite funny. The game employs meta humor in a manner I enjoyed; as the setting is a post-apocalyptic future, records of the pop culture we know today are fuzzy at best, and thus the references to them are sort of pieced together and only half correct. The downside is that a lot of this information ends up being more or less useless. Each non-playable character will only have one or two pieces of information you’ll need maximum. There’s something to be said here for the investigative nature, letting players feel like they’re truly solving a mystery. This is undercut somewhat by the fact that there’s no kind of penalty for choosing the wrong dialogue path, even if you make the character mad. I also would’ve really enjoyed it if there was more to do with the information given, being able to use everything a character had to say to your advantage, rather than just one piece of information.
REVIEW: A Little to the Left Leans Just Right
Clever puzzles and a comforting vibe.
I often find myself thinking about how scary a place the world feels these days, and I doubt I’m alone in that. Whenever your mind wanders to this dark place, it always helps to distract yourself, and video games are an excellent form of escapism. In those moments where a distraction is warranted, a simple, relaxing game can be just what the doctor ordered. With this in mind, I was very excited to discover A Little to the Left, a heartwarmingly wholesome puzzle game and the first creation from developer Max Inferno.
REVIEW: Cursed to Golf Makes it onto the Green
This fun and fresh golfing game needs no mulligan
One of my favorite game genres has got to be roguelikes, the genre in which you hack-and-slash your way through a gauntlet of randomly generated levels, going all the way back to the beginning if you should fall at any point. There’s almost no other type of game that can recreate that exact feeling of accomplishment for me. Having to beat the entire game in one run feels completely insurmountable at first, but as you sink into the game, your sense of progress is so pronounced because you know exactly how far you make it each time. With every new attempt, you get a little better and make it a little further towards the end. Your grasp on your growth as a player is more tangible than ever before.
As much as I like roguelikes, I don’t believe I ever would’ve thought to myself, hey, this would work amazingly well if you combined it with golf! Luckily, the good people at Chuhai Labs were more forward thinking than me and created Cursed to Golf, and I’m very happy that they did.
Backlog Review: Triangle Strategy Strikes Back with Conviction
Square Enix's new HD-2D adventure is a grand step up
From the moment I first saw the trailer for Square Enix’s Octopath Traveler, it instantly became one of my most anticipated games ever. The game promised a unique modernization of classic turn-based JRPG gameplay, featuring eight completely unique stories running concurrently. To top it all off, the game’s art direction was absolutely breathtaking. 2D sprites walked among gorgeous three-dimensional dioramas, giving birth to the HD-2D art style. Put everything together and it gave me the impression of an incredible looking game packed with excellent content, and I couldn’t have been more excited to get my hands on it.
REVIEW: Anuchard Rings in a Truly Remarkable Adventure
Save your weekend by saving the world!
Tales of the apocalypse are truly captivating for many of us. Perhaps in the present day that could be chalked up to relatability to some degree, as we’re constantly bombarded with news that makes us feel as if our world is inching ever closer to collapse. There’s more to this draw towards total destruction, however. Among those who consider themselves truly satisfied with their lives, I would guess that even they feel the magnetic pull of the end of the world. In these stories we see the ultimate clean slate. When everything is forcibly brought down with nothing left to do but bring it back up, we can think of our maximum potential. How would you craft civilization if you had the chance to start over? In a brand new world with completely different rules, what kind of person would you become? It’s no wonder the apocalypse is such an enticing centerpiece for a story.
A lot is riding on the core aspects of the broken world we’re given a glimpse of. What does a post-apocalyptic society look like, and how do the survivors move forward? You can answer these questions in a great number of ways, but for my money, the way Anuchard has answered it is one of the best I’ve ever experienced.
REVIEW: Nobody Saves the World is Absolutely Magical
A game so good, it's worth ending the world over.
How much time must you spend on something before you know it’s special? Whether it pertains to love, books, or even video games, this is a question that nearly everyone under the sun has tried to answer at one point or another. Some say not to judge a book by its cover, believing that you have to give anything a fair chance before you can determine whether it’s the right fit for you. Others hold tightly to their belief in love at first sight, postulating that if something is truly special, you’ll know it right away. Unfortunately, I don’t know if there’s a universally correct answer to this question. What I do know is that from my first moments spent playing Nobody Saves the World, I could tell that the game was going to be something magnificent, and that feeling only became more and more validated as I continued playing.
Drinkbox Studios’ latest outing is a top-down action RPG, with the standout feature being the ability to swap between fifteen different forms. Every form starts with a few basic abilities, but can add many more through leveling up, giving plenty of incentive to swap around. While the forms and their individual progression have the spotlight, there are tons of other tasks to be completed. These range from dungeon clearing, guild quests, fairy finding, and more. There’s so much to do in Nobody Saves the World without even taking the main story into account and it’s all fun. This makes the game as a whole an absolute blast.
REVIEW: Wife Quest, a Beautiful Fusion of Love and Violence
A fun and wacky platformer worth committing to.
The concept of the damsel in distress is nothing new, especially when it comes to video games. Think for a moment…what’s probably the single most famous story in all of gaming? We all know it: Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach, and Mario has got to get her back. It’s been done so many times that it’s become something of a cliché, and you might even find it a bit boring. That doesn’t mean the idea has to be abandoned, though. Instead, we might ask what would happen if the formula was shaken up a bit? EastAsiaSoft has striven to do just that with their wild and raunchy platformer, Wife Quest. You won’t find a man trying to save the princess from a giant monster here. Instead, Wife Quest features a sword-wielding woman on a mission to rescue her hapless husband from the clutches of a band of seductive monster girls. These lethal ladies are looking to claim a piece of the man for themselves, and they’ll stop at nothing to retain him.
REVIEW: PopSlinger is Bursting with Simple Fun
Pop off with this fun and funky shoot'em up.
There’s something to be said for simplicity. Don’t get me wrong, I love complex mechanics, dark settings, and intricate plots as much as anyone. With that in mind, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times where I wanted to both play a game and give my brain a break. Sometimes I’m in the mood to play a game that’s just plain, simple fun; nothing that requires me to think too hard. With its whimsical and colorful visuals, nonsensical but amusing story, and easy to pick up/difficult to master gameplay, PopSlinger certainly has the credentials needed to scratch that particular itch. While the half shooter, half beat’em up has a fair number of shortcomings, the game is charming and enjoyable enough to make the experience worthwhile.
REVIEW: A Musical Story Is a Little Out of Tempo
A beautiful song with a few wrong notes
Music is sorely underappreciated as a storytelling device. The vast majority of people can probably think of a score or soundtrack that they like, but for many of them, they likely think of the music as a purely supportive force; secondary to the narrative rather than a part of it. It’s understandable that people feel this way, because an effective score will blend seamlessly with the other elements present in the media. This means that the actual effect of the music doesn’t get the spotlight it deserves, however. Music has the capability to tell a story all on its own, describing events, emotions, and character arcs all through the proper notes. A Musical Story has an impeccable grasp on this concept, with a fantastic soundtrack that crafts a compelling narrative through its sheer melodic prowess. It’s unfortunate, though, that the rest of the game can’t quite keep up with the beat.
EGGLIA Rebirth Review - All it's cracked up to be?
Is this former mobile game sunny side up or rotten?
Transitioning a mobile game to a console release can be a bit of a tricky undertaking. Games created for the two platforms aren’t really made with the same design philosophies in mind, which means making a mobile game suitable for console play often requires massive overhauls that aren’t always done. Based on reputation alone, however, one could expect developer Brownies to be capable of rising up to the challenge. With their founders and staff credited on games such as Mother 3 and Square Enix’s Mana series, Brownies seems like they’d have the skills to successfully rework their mobile RPG, Egglia: Legend of the Redcap, into a proper console experience. In the end, I’d say they’ve achieved mixed success. Egglia Rebirth is a charming and enjoyable ride, but the core gameplay hasn’t been changed quite enough to reach full potential.