Showing posts with label xbox series x. Show all posts
Showing posts with label xbox series x. Show all posts


Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Xbox Review 7/10 "A Sweet Suikoden Spiritual Sequel" 🔥⚔️ @eiyuden #IndieGame #GameDev

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Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Xbox Review
From the – sadly no longer with us – Yoshitaka Murayama, the creative mind behind the much-loved Suikoden series, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is very much a spiritual successor that has its feet firmly planted in more traditional gameplay, resulting in a title that feels comfortable and fun overall, but unfortunately a touch lacklustre in some key areas.

Our tale begins with Nowa, a young boy from a rural village who joins The Watch, a group of like-minded individuals who roam the lands, assisting the various denizens of the scattered villages and cities. Assisting them on this particular mission – to find a ‘Primal Lens’ - are hand-picked soldiers of the Empire, but whilst this motley crew work well together at present...what will happen when peace fails and they are sworn to fight against each other?


GEOMETRY SURVIVOR Xbox Series X Review 6.5/10 "Geometry Wars + Vampire Survivors" 🕹️ @brainseal #IndieGame #GameDev

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Most people of a certain age remember the first Geometry Wars and/or its sequels. Classic twin-stick shooters in a wireframe world, the original was an Easter egg in Project Gotham Racing, back when developers occasionally did that sort of thing (Galaga on the loading screen for Tekken springs to mind).

Flash forward to today, where devs happily mine old and new concepts for inspiration. Geometry Survivor, at its most basic, is a mash-up of Geometry Wars and modern single-stick auto shooters. If you’ve played the excellent Brotato, or the quirky-yet-great Vampire Survivors then you know what I’m talking about. In fact, Geometry Wars plus Vampire Survivors gets you, well…you can see where I’m going with this.


Dragon’s Dogma 2 Xbox Review 9/10 "The most fun I’ve had in a single player game in 2024" ⚔️🐲🔥👹 @DragonsDogma #DragonsDogma2

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Dragon’s Dogma 2  Xbox Review
As someone who is – and will be forever – drawn towards single player RPGs, The last few months have been very, very fun. I’ve played three games that stand out in my mind for different reasons, and between them cover a lot of the main points that appeal to me about the genre at its core.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden won me over with its understated characters, music, atmospherics and earthiness, whilst Outcast: A New Beginning featured incredible traversal mechanics and lore, and now Dragon’s Dogma 2 – and out of the three, this is the title that I, by far, have the strongest history with – comes blazing out of the gate with its main strengths being in how much it embraces and excels at being a video game, completely nailing combat mechanics and explosive, immediate gameplay.

It’s a game that is a pleasure to write about, and I feel like I could just list all of my in-game experiences to get my point across because there are so many personal stories to tell, all through a design sentiment that eschews seriousness to put fun and gameplay at the absolute fore.


Outcast: A New Beginning Xbox Review 7.5/10 "An Outcast No More" 💥🌴 @OutcastGame #IndieGame #GameDev

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Outcast: A New Beginning Xbox Review
I’ve had a spotted history with Outcast, when it was originally released in 1999, I played it briefly over a friend’s house and was entranced by the world conjured and possibilities laid out. The unfortunate thing was, I didn’t have a PC that could really get the most out of it at the time, and I fell away from it – assuming that I’d return soon – but the next time I spent any time with the game was when I picked up Outcast: Second Contact in 2020, and, revisiting the game so long after release highlighted the sheer scope and imagination of developers Appeal Studios, along with the unavoidable fact that the design and mechanics were lodged in a transitory period of the third-person open-world genre, and had aged appropriately.

Thus, when I caught wind of this new entry in the franchise- pseudo-reboot, pseudo-revising, pseudo-revisiting pseudo-sequel – call it what you want – I was glad to discover that I feel that this I finally the most complete, accessible, and wonderful way to know the story of the impossibly named ‘Cutter Slade’, and appreciate the full scale of the dev’s vision. A vision set into motion almost thirty years ago.


Welcome to ParadiZe Xbox Series X Review 6/10 "More PontinZ than ParadiZe" 🐘 #IndieGame #GameDev #PvE #Zombies

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Welcome to ParadiZe Xbox Series X Review
Welcome to Paradize promised a lot of zany zombie shenanigans through its trailer, but unfortunately the released game feels a watered down version of what could have been, and as the core gameplay loop is so well-worn, there’s not enough to really suck players in and chew the meat from the bones of their expectations.

I first caught wind of Welcome to Paradize a couple of months ago, and having been on a bit of an isometric / action run recently I was quite keen to start smashing and blasting some zombie heads, whilst the survival and crafting elements seemed accessible enough to have fun with, without getting bogged down in menus etc.


Jagged Alliance 3 XSX Review 9/10 "A Modern Turn-Based Classic" 💥 @THQNordic

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Jagged Alliance 3 Review
A series of turn-based games that have roots going way back to 1994, Jagged Alliance has always enjoyed critical success – and yet it’s a series of games I’ve only touched upon briefly since its inception in the mid-’90s. I recall having some friends who were hips deep, thinking very highly of the franchise, and so when the opportunity came up to cover the third major entry, I was keen to have a goosey.


Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Xbox Series X Review 9/10 "A wonderfully spun tale of love and grief" ⚔️ @DONTNOD_Ent #IndieGame #GameDev

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I’ve been hankering for an RPG to sink my teeth into, and when Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden arrived at GF HQ, I was keen to tuck in and get a few dozen hours of adventuring under my belt. What I didn’t expect was to get sucked into the world of Red and Antea so deeply, and so quickly.

Set during the settling of America in the 1600’s, the game begins with Banishers (effectively mercenaries that deal with hauntings) Red and Antea arriving on boat to New Eden - a small settlement near Boston - having received word from their friend Charles that their ghost handling skills are required in this fledging town.


Bahnsen Knights Xbox Review 7/10 "My trousers began to slowly unbuckle themselves in anticipation..." 🕵️‍♂️ @lcbgamestudio #IndieGame #GameDev

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Bahnsen Knights Xbox Review
The third in the initial trilogy of Pixel Pulp titles, Bahnsen Knights follows Mothmen 1966, and Varney Lake, visual novel titles – with a smattering of micro-games – in an 18-month period that has taken me on a journey that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed from a presentation and atmospheric perspective, but I can’t help but feel this most recent entry is the weakest of all.


Cookie Cutter XBOX Review 8/10 " My Cherry Amour " 🤖 @maxharvey79 @Rogue_Co #IndieGames #GameDev

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Cookie Cutter XBOX Review
Cherry was cheery. She was an android with a lovely girlfriend, and life was good. But you know the old story – girl bot meets girl bot, girl bots fall in love, bad guy steals girl bot and stomps the other to a pulp. A tale as old as time. And so it’s not surprising that Cherry’s demeanour switches from joyful to rageful pretty quickly. 


Steamworld Build Xbox Review 8/10 "Over Steamulation?" 🛠️🪨 @SteamWorldGames #iNDIEGAME #GAMEDEV

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Steamworld Build Xbox Review

I have dug. I have heisted. And I have loved both. Three of my favourite games on the PC in the last ten years were made by the Swedish studio, Image & Form. Steamworld Dig 1 & 2, and Steamworld Heist are both beautifully formed and have really well thought through game mechanics. It’s simplistic to say perhaps, but both Dig and Heist just work. There’s little extraneous in there, and these elements are combined with gorgeous visuals and engaging characters to make very appealing games that I’ve returned to many times.


Murder is Game Over XSX Review 7.5 / 10 "Pocket-sized Pixel Pondering" 🔪 #IndieGame #GameDev @HitherYonGames @RatalaikaGames

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A budget title from Ratalaika, Murder is Game Over is a short and fun narrative horror made in RPG Maker, full of jaunty music and pixel detective action.

As detective Guy and his crime-solving dog Chloe, you’ll roam a mansion and the surrounding grounds in a bid to solve the murder of a world-renowned game designer.

There are eight suspects, and thirty bags of dog treats to find as you try to solve this dastardly crime, as well as a treasure-hunting side quest!

A game that cosily leads you through the mystery as opposed to getting your grey cells pulsating, Murder is Game Over is a fun and light-hearted way to spend an evening, satisfactorily wrapping up its plot in an hour or two, and a big high five for the awesome music, which I would quite happily purchase on vinyl, awesome stuff!


Mondealy XSX Review 8/10 "I completely fell under the pastel-coloured, joyous sway that it conjures" 🌻 @ValkyrieInitia1 #IndieGame #GameDev

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Mondealy  Xbox Series X Review
I’m very much on board with playing a wide variety of genres, and I appreciate that sometimes you need a game like Mondealy to slow you down and allow you to take stock of your life, appreciate what you have, and perhaps take a break from blowing up demons, shooting thousands of bullets at an alien threat, or squeezing your controller in love/respect/frustration because you missed that pixel-perfect 100th jump, and how need to do the last hours’ worth of progress again.

I initially played Mondealy off the back of a pretty full-on game, and switching from that to this mellow, slowly-unfolding world was initially a little jarring, but after a mental reset, I completely fell under the pastel-coloured, joyous sway that it conjures, especially enjoying the soundtrack, courtesy of the below talented composers:


Anthology of Fear Xbox Series X Review 4/10 “Five Minutes on YouTube” 🏥 @AnthologyofFear #IndieGame #GameDev

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Anthology of Fear Xbox Series X Review
Walking down corridors and having something shout “boo!” is great, but they do wear thin after a while, and as much as I love horror, I definitely need a break from the horror walking simulator genre. Well, after playing Layers of the Fear a couple of months ago, I booted up Anthology of Fear put on my walking shoes and headed down the creepy corridors.


WrestleQuest Xbox Series X 8/10 “One Hell of a Slobberknocker” 🤼‍♂️ @megacatstudios #IndieGames #GameDev

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WrestleQuest is two of my absolutely favourite things combined, wrestling and classic RPGs.

When I first heard about the game my excitement level was off the charts, it became one of my most anticipated games of 2023. So, after waiting all this time, will it be a 7-star match in the Tokyo Dome? Or will it be jobbing out in the opening match?

At this point in the review, I will warn you I’m going ALL IN on the wrestling references, there will be NO MERCY, so I suggest opening a ‘Steveweiser’ and preparing to smell what the Games Freezer WrestleQuest review is cooking.


Stray Xbox Series X Review "A Purrfect way to spend an evening" 🐈 @HKdevblog #IndieGame #GameDev

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It was only a few weeks ago on my movie-centric podcast that I was discussing emotional manipulation with my co-host. He was more bothered by it than me, but I still find that overtly sentimental forms of media that aim purely to tug at the heartstrings irk me somewhat.

This ties into my initial – misjudged – thoughts on Stray. When it was released last year on PlayStation, the positive reviews that it received – and more so the comments surrounding it – I found actively off-putting in the comparisons to games of a more ‘cinematic’ vibe.

After receiving it for review purposes and playing it through in two straight sessions I really do recommend it, if you were - like me – put off by the thought of a saccharine gaming experience. This is Tokyo Jungle territory.


Mordhau Xbox Series X 8/10 “Fun and frustration” ⚔️🛡️ @mordhaugame #IndieGame #GameDev

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I'm going to start my review by admitting that although I thoroughly enjoyed Mordhau, god I suck at it. The expression ‘as useful as a chocolate teapot’ really does sum me up when it comes to this genre! The first thing I did when I loaded up the game was to laugh at the idea of playing through the tutorial, and instead jumped straight into a large battle. Within the first thirty seconds, I had pressed the button to un-equip your weapon, and had swapped my sword for my fists - I was in trouble, but luckily I only had that problem for about forty seconds before a kind person stabbed me in the gut and put me out of my misery. Instead of re-spawning, I decided that it was probably best to quit out and actually play the tutorial.


Peppa Pig: World Adventures (mini) Xbox Review 7.5/10 "Peppa Goes Global" 🐷 @Outright_Games #IndieGames #VideoGamesForKids #GameDev

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Publisher Outright Games’ releases have had such a joyful impact on my 2-year-old that I actually sent them an email of thanks a few months ago. This new release continues the theme of incredibly accessible games with visuals and tonality that accurately reflects the franchise on which they are based, turning them into interactive experiences for all the family.


Layers of Fear Xbox Series X Review 6/10 “Constant corridors and predictable scares” 😱 @Layers_Of_Fears #IndieGames #GameDev

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Layers of Fear is an enhanced remake of - you guessed it - Layers of Fear, but it’s not just an enhanced remake of the first game, it also includes a remade version of the sequel as well as ‘The Inheritance’ DLC, and two new additional stories – ‘The Writer’, and ‘Final Note’.

I have never played any of the original series, although I have heard of them, and had an idea of what they were about - but I never went ahead and gave them a go, so with this release, it seemed a perfect chance to jump in and experience them in all their new Unreal Engine 5 glory.


Amnesia: The Bunker Xbox Series X 7/10 “One Element Away From Being a Stone-Cold Classic” ⏱️@frictionalgames

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Something Alanis Morissette might find ironic is - even though I’ve played every Amnesia game, I realised that I couldn’t remember a single thing about them, which isn’t because the games aren’t worth remembering, just my poor memory; so I set out and went through them all again to jog my ailing mind and I’m glad that I did as it really helped cement my opinion of this game in that I think it does so much so well, and one thing very poorly.


Last Labyrinth – Lucidity Lost XSX Review 5/10 "A Puzzle Missing a Key Piece" 🧩 @AmataTokyo #IndieGames #GameDev

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Originally released for VR platforms in 2019, Last Labyrinth – Lucidity Lost casts the player in the role of a mute, wheelchair-bound person that can only communicate by using a laser pointer attached to their head.

Assisting them through the labyrinth of deadly traps and tricks is a young girl who can be guided by the aforementioned laser pointer. Working together, both must solve puzzles and make their way through the labyrinth, in a bid to survive the deadly trials laid out before them.

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