Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kicking Off The New Year!  


It's a brand-new year and 2015 hasn't really gotten rolling yet, so I'm going to just blast through a bunch of random stuff tonight. No particular order, just freestylin’, yo.


I'm not really much of a tablet user, but we have a Kindle Fire in the house, and apparently Amazon has started their own game studio in order to crank out some exclusive stuff. The first release is called Tales From Deep Space, and it's not half bad.

Basically, it's a 2D platformer with a pair of aliens who team up to get past various obstacles. It's nothing earth-shattering, but it looks really sharp (very reminiscent of Ratchet & Clank in style) and the touch controls aren't half bad. Also, it's pretty cool that Amazon is developing some exclusives… There are more on the way, too.


I just recently retired my character in Fantasy Life the other day, after about 45 hours. There was still a ton left for me to do and I still haven't leveled up enough to see the DLC that I paid for (!!!) but it seems like I could probably play that game forever and I really wanted to make time for other things.

I'll probably come back to it once I have some free time on the 3DS (although there won't be much of that once Monster Hunter 4U hits) but I really, really enjoyed it and I think it's Level 5’s best work in years.

A lot of the critics and reviews I read were really cold on it, but I think that's a combination of having to rush through it for review purposes, and perhaps having certain expectations not matching up with what the game actually is. I'm very glad I jumped into it, and I liked it enough to pass it off to the wife… She's not really one for dialogue in games (and FL is awfully chatty) but I think she's going to dig the gameplay.


The newest Marvel Puzzle Quest character is out, and it's Luke Cage, also known as Power Man. I have to admit that I'm not really familiar with him apart from the fact that he was partners with Iron Fist for quite a while… 

In fact, I'm not sure that I even own a single comic book with him in it, but hey, a new character is a new character, and his powers seem pretty interesting.

Speaking of powers, I'm glad to see that the developers are constantly going back and retuning old characters. Dr. Doom was one of the first, and I've always felt that he had a lot of untapped potential. 

The devs clearly agree, because he just got a big revamp with the addition of a new purple power (with a new mechanic) called Diabolical Plot. 


I've talked about Freedom Wars on Vita before, and I recently put a few more hours into it. I really, really like the overall concept and I'm also a fan of how it plays in general, but I think I hit a bit of a wall and I may be done with it.

My biggest problem with the game is that the battles against the massive Abductor robots just take too long… It's like the devs want to create big, epic fights, but in the case of this game, the characters are so fast and mobile that it seems like it should focus more on running and gunning and using the grappling hook than extended encounters. 

I know some people say I’m being contradictory since I love Monster Hunter so much, but let me tell you, the battles in MH aren't really that long once you know what you're doing, and if you're actually playing with other people, they're even quicker. 

In Freedom Wars, no matter what weapon I'm using or how powered up it is, it still feels like it takes forever to do any significant damage. On top of that, the AI needs work (when I die, REVIVE ME, dammit!) and I recently lost some progress due to the game glitching out, and few things sour me faster than losing 45 minutes of effort due to a hiccup in the game’s programming.

I think this franchise has so much potential, and I really hope the developers take a serious look at it, rebalance things, and clean up some of the systems. And hey, if it was on the PS4 with more robust online multiplayer, that would be pretty tremendous. This is a great property that needs nurturing, and I hope it’s not left for dead after just one outing.  


Finally, I'm not sure how many people know this, but both fellow @Gamecritics writer Dan Weissenberger and I are huge fans of semi-obscure Japanese developer Goshow, and I just recently discovered that one of their titles that I’ve never seen before is now available on PSN. 

Called Warriors of the Lost Empire, It seems like a simple, straightforward dungeon crawl-type game with third-person action, but despite the fact that all of their efforts are unpolished and idiosyncratic, there’s just something absolutely fascinating about the work Goshow produces. Their other titles available domestically are Colosseum: Road To Freedom, Gladiator Begins, and Clan of Champions. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes them stand out to me, but there’s definitely something.

I've only just started playing Empire so it's way too early to talk about it in any critical sense, but if you are a fan of Goshow the way that Dan and I are (does that describe anybody out there? Anybody at all?) then do yourself a favor and check it out -- I'm not sure many people even know it exists.


What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories

0 comments: to “ Kicking Off The New Year!