Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Helldivers, htol#NIQ, Flame Over, Zelda+MH4U, Prof. X in MPQ... AND MOAR  


Games: I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned, there really hasn't been a first-quarter lull this year. It seemed like we got about a week or two to chill after the madness of the holidays, but then the games started coming out, full steam, and there's been just a ton of really quality stuff out there.

For example, Helldivers (PS3, PS4, Vita) I saw this one last year at a tradeshow and it looked okay, but this is one of those cases where you really can't grasp what makes it so amazing until you sit down and put some time into it.

The simplest way to describe it is if you took DiabloDestiny, and Starship Troopers, mashed it altogether and added 50% more awesome to the mix. I picked it up on release day and I've been playing every day ever since… The hook (or at least, one of the hooks) is that the game is super-lethal, but not in an annoying way-- in a way that makes the player more cautious, and that gives everything much more significance.

The biggest example of this is that friendly fire is always on, so spraying lead haphazardly around the battlefield will quickly result in dead teammates. You also have to be very conscientious about where and when you reload, and things get incredibly hot and heavy at any time. In the blink of an eye, things can go from totally quiet to being a raging-hot firefight with enemies going down, allies was going down, rushing to revive them, running away to reload, and a thousand other things happening at once, while always trying to be cautious and not blowing your fellow soldiers away.

Oh, did I mention you can call down a beefy mecha exosuit, Titanfall-style? And that there are jetpacks? JETPACKS.

I played a good bit solo and that was fine, but the game really came alive with a partner-- in fact, I've been enjoying it so much, I went out and bought a third PS4 controller so that my wife and my son could both be on my squad at the same time. Up to four people can couch co-op in the same room, and having good coordination and each member bringing a different loadout leads to strategic, tactical play. OTOH, if you don't have that many people around, having randoms join in (or joining random games yourself) is incredibly easy and there are loads of people playing. It really does feel like taking part in a galactic war.

I wasn't planning to review the game, but I've been enjoying it so much that I decided I should probably put out the effort… Sadly, I’m gonna spoil my review right now and say that this game is friggin’ awesome.

In terms of games that are not so good, I was checking out htol#NIQ: The Firefly Diary (Vita) which is a recent new-IP effort from NISA. On the surface it seems tailor-made for me with an enigmatic story, cute characters, and puzzle-based gameplay. However, I bounced off of this one pretty quick and I don't think that I’ll be back.

The game begins with touch controls, and I just don't think they suit this game at all… Touching the front screen moves a "light" fairy, and touching the rear screen moves a "dark" fairy. The main character will blindly follow the light fairy around, which is how you get her from place to place. At the same time, you frequently need to manipulate the way the light from the fairy falls in order to set up shadows so the dark fairy can travel in them and move around each room.

There's more to it than that, but getting to the point, I found the game to be incredibly difficult and annoying at the same time, and within the first 15 or 20 minutes I got quite stuck and frustrated with what was going on. There’s an achievement for dying ten times in an area, and I earned it in the second level, if that gives you an idea of how it goes.

It's worth noting that there are alternate controls games so apparently people can use standard controls which (I'm sure) makes it a better experience, but the level of difficulty and the obtuseness of the game didn't have anything to do with the controls. My first impressions were pretty negative, and I might give it another shot at some point in the future… But probably not.

Speaking of negative impressions, I've been putting a little time into Flame Over (Vita) from Laughing Jackal, which is a "Pyroguelike" which features a small, cartoonish fireman who goes into procedurally-generated levels to put out fires and rescue people. I like the concept and while I see a lot of good ideas happening here, it feels like it falls really short in the execution.

The game starts off with no tutorial whatsoever, so a lot of what's going on is totally not clear. What's the point of turning off electricity? How do you earn the coins to buy items? Why can I keep continuing to play when the Grim Reaper shows up? What was that item I just picked up?

The mechanics don't feel totally polished, either. Sometimes fires are obscured by the geometry of levels, and manipulating the camera is done with the same stick that also aims the water hose and fire extinguisher the fireman carries, so toggling back and forth between them feels unnatural and stutter-stoppy.

I lost track of how many times I've played it, but I haven’t even managed to finish the first level yet, and I’m rapidly losing patience. And just to be clear, I'm not the kind of player who’s easily scared off by roguelikes in general or games that offer difficult experiences -- it just doesn't feel like the parts of Flame Over are put together correctly. I wish I had more positive things to say about it, but overall it feels like a case of "almost, but not quite".

In other any games news, I'm still playing Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate, of course. I hit a bit of a stalling point a while ago, but I think I'm back on track. I’m currently working on making the Brute Tigrex armor and trying to finish off the end of the single player campaign.

If you play Monster Hunter yourself then you probably already know about the free DLC, but in case you haven't heard, Capcom will be releasing new bunches of DLC on the first Friday of every month for the foreseeable future. You can watch a detailed preview of what came in the first batch right here, the highlights being a clockwork Insect Glaive and a bunch of armor and weapons taken directly from The Legend of Zelda. Yes, really.

Also, are you one of the many, many folks who watched @AEvanko’s MH tutorials lately? If so, do him a solid and chip him a few bucks so he can improve his working gear!

Finally, one quick note about @MarvelPuzzle Quest. The game recently released Iron Fist as one of the new three-star characters, and he is a complete badass. I wouldn't be surprised if he got nerfed before too long, honestly. If you get a chance to use him, go for it.

Otherwise, the new PVE just hit, and the top prize is a new four-star character, Professor X! It's hard to tell at this early stage, but according to my quick read of his abilities, it seems like he's going to be an absolute monster… Get in on it and try to shoot for the top while you can!

Finally, here's a whole slew of links to content that went up recently at @Gamecritics:

>Gravity Ghost by Tera Kirk

>Tears To Tiara 2 by @GC_Danny

>Marvin's Mittens by @Insrtcoins

>Ironclad Tactics by @JohnVanderhoef

>Runers by @GC_Danny

>Grow Home by @MikeSuskie

Thanks for reading!!!


Strength of the Sword Ultimate is heading to consoles!


Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment revealed new pre-order bonus details for 
Mad Max. All those who pre-order Mad Max will receive an additional Magnum Opus car body called “The Ripper,” which packs a powerful V8 engine, upgraded exhaust with custom off-road tires, a ramming grill and a tuned suspension so it can take on a variety of Wasteland surfaces. Also revealed today was box art for the game.  

Set to launch September 1 in the Americas for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC, Mad Max delivers open world gameplay in a post-apocalyptic setting where cars are the key to survival. Developed by Avalanche Studios, gamers become Mad Max, a lone warrior who must fight to stay alive in The Wasteland, using vicious on-ground and vehicular combat against savage bandits. Following the theft of his iconic Interceptor, Max must align himself with a gifted, but peculiar, mechanic named Chumbucket and others to build the ultimate war vehicle as he works to escape from the dangerous Wasteland. More information can be found at


Get ready to explore the vast labyrinth of ruins as you dive into La-Mulana EX, now available across North America on the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system from Rising Star Games and Pygmy Studio!

One of the original archeological exploration action games, La-Mulana EX is packed with challenging enemies, treacherous locations, huge bosses, and absolutely punishing but ultimately rewarding gameplay. La-Mulana EX is guaranteed to be a must-have title for PlayStation®Vita system owners and is available now!

About La-Mulana EX:
Set in the fabled ruins of La-Mulana, players will help Professor Lemeza Kosugiembark on an exciting but incredibly deadly adventure. Armed at first with only his trusty whip, he'll traverse through the lost city, finding treasures and discovering a bounty of unexplored caves, unsolved riddles and ravenous monsters. But with the ruins having claimed the lives of everyone that has ever entered, will Lemeza be able to survive in the quest to find the secret to life itself?

 La-Mulana EX Key Features:
Travel almost anywhere in the game right from the start
All-new Monster Bestiary allows players to view beautiful artwork and analyze details of the monsters slayed and characters met

Players now have the option to undo the "Hard Mode" curse
Improved translations and language support for English, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, and Russian


Sierra has launched Shiftlings, independent developer Rock Pocket Games’ original side-scrolling puzzle platformer, for current-generation consoles and PC.

Shiftlings’ inventive spin on physics-based puzzle platforming comes from its two leading characters, a pair of half-witted extraterrestrial engineers whose space suits are hilariously linked by a single air hose. By passing gas back and forth, the Shiftlings can expand and deflate instantaneously to slip through tight spaces, move heavy objects and bounce to new heights, dragging each other along with every step.

Shiftlings features more than 50 clever stages of traps to traverse and collectibles to discover across five astronomical worlds. Players can take on the universe alone, controlling both cosmic custodians, or tether to a friend for two-player cooperative multiplayer online or locally.

Set within an intergalactic reality television show, Shiftlings’ cartoonish presentation lends itself to plenty of humor between its comically unaware stars and the watchful announcer, casting players as both participants and viewers through the adventure.

Shiftlings is now available for $14.99 on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system via the PlayStation®Network and Windows PC. It will be available for the same price on March 4 for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, through the Xbox Games Store. This game is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB.

For more information, please visit, and follow Rock Pocket Games on Facebook and Twitter.


Techland announced that the second content drop of the Season Pass for Dying Light will launch on March 10th. The Ultimate Survivor Bundle brings a collection of unique items to the quarantine zone, including blueprints for four one-of-a-kind weapons: The Constable, the Night Club, Lacerator, and Buzz Killer. On top of that, the bundle comes with three distinctive character outfits: the Ninja, Urban Explorer, and Special Agent. The Ultimate Survivor Bundle will be available across all platforms as a part of the Season Pass offer or separately at 4,99 USD/ 4,99 EUR / 3,99 GBP.

Also on March 10th, a new free update for Dying Light will be released. Along with various improvements to the game’s performance, gameplay balance, online functions, and visual fidelity, patch 1.4 will introduce a specially designed Hard Mode, allowing players to add extra challenge and realism to their game. Furthermore, the update adds an additional tier to weapon rarity level, extra rewards for completing the game, more character outfits, and dozens of new weapons. All content of patch 1.4 will be available for free on all supported platforms.


inXile entertainment announced that the best-selling PC game, Wasteland 2 is currently in development for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, slated for release late summer.

 Currently available for PC fans (, Wasteland 2 is one of the most successful crowdfunded games of all-time. Total Biscuit, who commented that this “really does feel like Fallout 4, if Fallout were to go back to its CRPG roots,” awarded Wasteland 2 as the “Best Thing to Come out of Crowdfunding”. Wasteland 2 also won game of the year from PC World for 2014. The game features 70+ hours of highly re-playable gameplay in which no two people can have the same experience.


NIS America is thrilled to announce that first print copies of the Wii U™ version of 
Rodea the Sky Soldier will also come packaged with the Wii™ version of the game! The Wii™ version will be exclusive to the retail version of the game and available for the first printing. This is currently planned for both North America and Europe. Players will be delighted to experience creator Yuji Naka’s original vision for Rodea!

To view the trailer, please use the following link: 


ISLAND PARADISE – Kitty Lambda Games (The Real Texas, Paradise Perfect) and Devolver Digital (The Talos Principle, Hotline Miami 2) have unveiled Paradise Never, an action RPG set in 2027 on an island colony of France in the midst of turmoil and revolution. Relive the same three days over and over in an attempt to right your wrongs and free your quiet island community from its imperial oppressors while trying to keep your close-knit group of friends-turned-rebels alive. Paradise Never will launch this summer on PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, Humble, and GOG.

Paradise Never uses a sophisticated NPC behavioral system, a complex object interaction mechanic, and a tropical paradise that regenerates with each three day cycle to create a living, breathing world bustling with activity with or without your direct intervention. Talk to NPCs at different times in different circumstances to better understand their motivations and gain the knowledge you need to save them all. Strike down your opposition with your battle-ready electric guitar or outfit your boat with new cannons to take the battle to the open seas - but keep the casualties down or the goddess will reset the time loop and you’ll restart your quest.



Attendees at PAX East will be able to go hands on with Paradise Never with developer Calvin French at the Indie Megabooth (#6155). For more information, please visit or follow @Psysal and @DevolverDigital on Twitter. 


– Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. announced that the highly anticipated conclusion to the METAL GEAR SOLID V Experience, METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN, will be released worldwide starting September 1, 2015.

METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN is the series’ largest and most ambitious edition to date, expanding upon themes and content seen in the METAL GEAR SOLID V Experience prologue: METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES. Set within huge open-world environments, METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN is brought to vivid life with realistic weather patterns and day/night cycles. Thus, players can adapt their tactics to match the changing environment, creating an intuitive and non-linear gameplay experience. Similarly, a host of acclaimed METAL GEAR SOLIDtroops return in hugely advanced forms, including expanded CQC (Close-Quarter Combat) skills, vastly improved enemy AI, online elements that complement the single player campaign, and an all-new version of METAL GEAR ONLINE, a competitive multiplayer mode, included within the main game.

The September window will see a number of product options available to passionate fans of the series, with METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN releasing both a special “Day 1 Edition” and a limited “Collector’s Edition”. 
“Day 1 Edition” Content (Physical Version*)
DLC items
Adam-ska Special Handgun
Personal Ballistic Shield (Silver)
Cardboard Box (Wetland)
Fatigues (Blue Urban Snake Costume)
*Digital Version contents to be announced at a future time
**Steam version will include the above DLC content at launch
Collector’s Edition Content (Physical Version Only):
Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm
Collectible SteelBook
Behind the Scenes Documentary & Trailers Blu-ray Disc
Exclusive Packaging
DLC items
Windurger S333 Combat Special Revolver
Adam-ska Special Handgun
Maschinen Taktische Pistole 5 Weiss Special Handgun
Rasp Short-Barreled Shotgun Gold
Personal Ballistic Shield (Olive Drab)
Personal Ballistic Shield (Silver)
Personal Ballistic Shield (White)
Personal Ballistic Shield (Gold)
Cardboard Box (Rocky Terrain)
Cardboard Box (All-Purpose Dryland)
Cardboard Box (Wetland)
Fatigues (Black Ocelot)
Fatigues (Gray Urban)
Fatigues (Blue Urban)
Fatigues (All-Purpose Dryland)
MGO Items
Metal Gear Rex Helmet
AM MRS-4 GOLD Assault Rifle
METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN including METAL GEAR ONLINE, will retail with an SRP of $59.99 for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system; the Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft; and Steam, and $49.99 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Xbox 360. “Collector’s Edition” SRP will be $99.99 for the PlayStation®4 and the Xbox One. The Steam version ofMETAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN will be released on September 15, 2015. 
To pre-order METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN, please visit:
Formats: PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Steam


Bethesda Softworks, a ZeniMax Media company, today announced Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, the standalone prequel to the critically-acclaimed first-person action-adventure shooter, Wolfenstein®: The New Order™. In development at MachineGames, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood will be available digitally for $19.99 on May 5, 2015 for Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 system, and PC.
The year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the brink of winning World War II. In an effort to turn the tide in the Allies’ favor, B.J. Blazkowicz must embark on an epic, two-part mission deep within Bavaria. Part one of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood - Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves - pits BJ Blazkowicz against a maniacal prison warden as he breaks into Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to steal the coordinates to General Deathshead’s compound. In part two – The Dark Secrets of Helga Von Schabbs – our hero's search for the coordinates leads him to the city of Wulfburg where an obsessed Nazi archaeologist is exhuming mysterious artifacts that threaten to unleash a dark and ancient power. 
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is rated M for mature by the ESRB. For more information on Wolfenstein: The Old Blood visit:


505 Games and Rebellion today announced that Sniper Elite 3 ‘Ultimate Edition’ for console is now available for digital download
and at retailers nationwide.

 This new offering brings the award-winning original Sniper Elite III game and also bundles an additional nine DLC packs including all three expansive ‘Save Churchill’ missions and 18 additional weapons in one explosive package.  Also included in the package are the bonus multiplayer maps and modes added since launch. This new experience is designed to give players everything they need to traverse the unforgiving yet exotic terrain of North Africa as they embroil themselves in a savage conflict against Nazi Germany’s elite Afrika Korps and infamous SS special forces. 


What next?

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

Related Posts by Categories