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Blog - Game Reviews
By: SRG Oct. 09, 2012, 22:45
1 commentstower defense  strategy  defend  army  fantastic  epic  defense  popular
10/ 10

Many defense games seem to be the same: a dull soundtrack, unimpressive graphics, and a rehashed theme. But just when we thought that the generic, overcrowded genre wasn't worth playing anymore, in glorious triumph and with much fanfare descends Ironhide Games' Kingdom Rush, a fantasy tower defense game that's an absolute joy to play!

As the king's military general in the vast Kingdom of Linirea, your task is to place towers over a fixed path and slay all the predetermined waves of bandits, goblins and other nasty fiends. If the invaders overwhelm your forces, they will slaughter your kingdom's helpless inhabitants and it's Game Over. Fortunately, you are given four basic tower types to choose from to hold off the invaders. Each tower type can be upgraded to two different paths and given special abilities. The "Barracks" tower is particularly useful because it sends out free-moving units that can stall the malevolent hordes long enough for more powerful towers to annihilate them.

This game teaches you how to play by trial and error. Each wave is perfectly balanced, which is surely the result of diligent play-testing. Losing a level is entirely your fault and not the developers being cheap shots. Besides placing towers, you may choose to rain fiery death upon your enemies with a meteor storm or summon bonus troops anywhere on the battlefield. These spells cannot be spammed because they are on a cooldown clock.

Unlike most defense games, the difficulty isn't artificially ramped up by increasing the bad guys' base HP and defense. Every enemy has weaknesses that may be exploited by smart tower placement and upgrades. Tower placement is accompanied by witty, humourous one-liners that are chock full of pop culture references. Upgrades allow you to slow down the enemy, inflict more damage, maximize range, launch some AoE shrapnel or even insta-kill. You'll also discover that there is no need to fast forward the action, since the bad guys march at a speed that keeps the flow of the game moving seamlessly at a perfect pace.

Every stage bursts with vivid colour; the high-quality sound effects and the stylish, cartoony visuals ensures that the game looks and sounds awesome. Watching the mini soldiers fend off fully tooled-up orcs, yetis, and shadow archers reinforces the fantasy-comedy theme that Ironhide so diligently attempts to create. On top of the balanced gameplay and cool graphics, Kingdom Rush boasts over 30 unique enemies, over 50 achievements, 8 specialized tower upgrades, hero characters, and a robust skill tree to customize your defensive strategy. The intense boss fights and zany enemy types are sure to keep you entertained as you hack, slash, shoot, bomb, and zap your way to victory.

This game brings us back to why tower defense games were great in the first place, but it leaves you wanting more despite its occasional updates. Kingdom Rush is a perfect balance of simplicity and depth. It didn't reinvent the genre, but it took everything we knew tower defense to be and refined it to the point that it almost feels new again. If you're looking for innovation, Ironhide’s smash hit offers nothing new. However, its fantastic presentation makes it a solid title that every strategy fan should not miss. This is tower defense at its purest: simple, effective, and loads of crazy fun!

By: Alch3mist Oct. 08, 2012, 00:00
1 commentseat  evolve  upgrade
8.0/ 10
Pros: Great, grungy theme music and Godzilla-esque moments
Cons: controls take some getting used to, too easy after some time

Effing Worms 2 is a truly wicked twist on the classic Snake gameplay. Remember those B-movie flicks where giant killer worms explode out of the ground and eat everyone? This time, you ARE the worm. Using the WASD keys, you guide you worm underneath the soil, leaping up to devour anything walking on the surface – humans, cows, chicks, anything’s game. Even jets.

Draw back a bit. Firstly, the game had no proper tutorial, so it’s going to take you a minute to figure out the controls. Thankfully the physics is pretty good, so accelerating and twisting around underground feels like it should. Eating something is simple – just aim your mouth and charge right at it. There’s a health meter that drains constantly: you’ll have to eat the green pests that abound in the otherwise nondescript soil.

The real kick comes from accelerating your way up and bursting through the ground to devour victims. Your victims come in levels/waves. Each time, there’s a certain number of people you have to gobble. Fulfilling the requirement is pretty easy. For the most part you’ll be having fun angling your worm to take down. As you progress, your worm grows to GIGANTIC sizes. It feels awesome to plunge out of the ground and lay waste to the poor mortals ambling above with their tiny tanks….

Pretty soon, levels start to sprout increasingly dangerous enemies: soldiers, tanks, soldiers on cows, helicopters, bomber jets and yes, more cows.

But to deal with that, you get upgrades. You can choose from two different upgrades per level. This is where I start complaining: the upgrades are ridiculously overpowered. The game becomes way too easy. Once you figure out that you can keep your worm flying above ground (and you can do so infinitely, with proper timing) the game becomes very easy to tackle. You can gobble up soldiers and even the planes flying above. It’s packed with true Metal-Slug-slash-Worms moments, but in later levels you’re simply immortal. The whole essence of what makes the game great vanishes when you get used to it. I love timing the jump just right so that I can snag a tank on the way up and a few soldiers on the way down. What’s the point if I can just keep my worm in the air, perfectly level with the humans, all the time? If you can resist the temptation to fly, I’d suggest you do it, because Effing Worms 2 gets a tad boring once you get the hang of flying. As long as you’re underground, it’s superb.

THE VERDICT: An excellent game with Metal-Slug like thrills, but gets boring if you play till your worm is fully upgraded.  8 out of 10.

It’s been a long time since I last played this game. I didn’t have the duty to review the game then, and such a loss. Now, that I have the responsibility of sharing my views upon this tower defense game, well, it’s your gain!

Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch my Gems puts the reversal of fortune in the wheels of motion. Yes, for a millionth time, we’ve been taking up the role of an intrepid adventurer set in an epic adventure, by virtue, duty, or plain bad-ass confidence. In this particular game, we hold the power of the villain. We create towers to defend our ancient treasures from the adventurers, the heroes and other “good” beings.

Like an evil overlord, you have the power to use nature, machines, and the usual supernatural skills in defending your domain. The objective of the game is simple: Kill Everything that Moves. It is actually more complex than that, you just have to kill all of the critters before they manage to steal all of your gems. And it’s pretty easy on paper considering they have to go to the place where the gems are housed, and then travel back to where they came from. Basically, you have two chances to incinerate them.

The problem lies here, they are too many to handle and they have certain skillsets that will make your evil life more miserable. There are three kinds of towers you can use and each of them fires at will, so it would be prudent to mix and match them according to their usage for more optimal carnage. But there are limitations of tower placements, certain towers can only be installed in a single type of cleared terrain. Yes, you have to clear out the trees! Don’t be such an environmentalist; you are ready to commit genocide in the first place!

It’s funny though, your opponents have tricks under their sleeves too (or armor, or garb, depending on their preferred costume). Ninjas turn invisible, champions are difficult to kill, and the peasants, they breed like rats, getting the attention of your towers of which they don’t deserve.

The upgrade system is branching too. So you can experiment on your choices and the game should stop being repetitive with all the choices you have. There are also skills and spells that you can complement with your tower building expertise.

Graphics is not that good, but it’s not that bad. Sure Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch my Gems was released back in 2010, but in 2010, there are good looking games. Probably, the game developers are aiming for the lowest common denominator and want to accommodate as much as players as they can, but still, it would be nice if they did pony up on the aesthetic department. Music, hmmm, it’s okay, but I easily mute my machine since more often than not, Flash-based browser games are notorious in repetitive music that gets irritating as time goes by.

Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch My Gems, may be “old” but the gameplay still holds. There are better games, with better graphics, but the gameplay is good, not great, since far more treasure defense game that came before and after this one are better in that department.

By: jaspernikki Sep. 26, 2012, 00:00
0 commentsstickman  evade  skill
7.0/ 10

Let’s begin with the story first since it won’t matter later. And you’ll save a lot of time reading here, than reading the original text, which is kinda bloated for people who just want to play a game. In N, you are a ninja with otherworldly human skills. Your speed, dexterity and reflexes are of god levels. And you have to collect gold coins while evading enemies and jumping from one platform to another. I skipped out the background story, really, you don’t need it.

N doesn’t allow slow moving ninjas, there are time constraints for each level. It is rather forgiving, in a sense, when an additional couple of seconds are replenished in your time limit. The level design is also very nice, with launchpads and trampolines.

The control system is also simple with left-right for directions and Shift for jumping. You can change the controls as you please, which is rather good for those who like the WASD set-up, most gamers really prefer that setup. You can slide down, climb, jump, everything that you’d expect a ninja to do.

As soon as you progress, the game gets outrageously difficult. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t dig the physics, it’s too “soft” for me. There are mines which explode upon contact (duh!). There are evil blocks that move as soon as you are near them. However, these blocks are useful in some areas because you can climb and ride on it since only one side is detrimental to a ninja.

There are turrets which that fire missiles at you. And they are homing missiles, you gotta run, and collect, and complete the level at the very same time. Imagine having all of these hazards in each level, you are up to a task! There are also drones with different attacks like lasers and chain guns. Yes, you don’t have the arsenal to blow things up. You just glide your way out of every level.

There are lots and lots of levels. Haven’t even finished this one yet, it’s too damn look. I have to finish this review or else I won’t have the time to review other Flash games. Back to the game, the level design is really great, I don’t have much complaint. The graphics are rather simple, and it is an acquired taste to like it. Personally, I don’t like the graphics, not because of its vector-like vibes, but they are too tiny for my abused eyes. I don’t want to wear glasses just yet.

Apparently, N has been released as downloadable console game specifically the Xbox Live Arcade platform first, then got ported to the Nintendo DS and PSP as retail games. Not bad. Don’t blame me for not knowing, I’ve only got my PSP back in 2008 and never owned a DS an Xbox, so yeah.

All in all, N is a great game. It features polished gameplay and several varied levels to keep you on your heels. I like this one, I just don’t love it. Nothing I could do, it just feels that way.  

By: Alch3mist Sep. 25, 2012, 00:00
1 commentsburger  sim  restaurant  cooking  food  simulation
7.5/ 10

Papa’s Burgeria is brilliant. It’s one of the most complete burger-makin’ experiences I’ve stumbled across. Your name’s Wally, and what do you do for a living? Run a burger shop, of course. You’re the cashier and fry cook rolled into one.

From start to finish, you’ll be doing your level best to build quality custom burgers. Customers walk into your shop and order what they want – no stock menus here: each customer has a totally different recipe in mind. The old geezer, for instance, wants two dollops of mayo, onions, and a medium-fried pattie, all done in a specific order. You take orders, switch to the grill and get those burgers fryin – remember to cook both sides equally! – and assemble the burger before returning it to the customer to see what they think of it. Good or bad? Uncooked patties and haphazardly-assembled burgers (yes, put them carefully and neatly together – my first looked like a lopsided anthill) lower your score. Customer got tired of waiting? That’s bad, too. As the days go on, the customers gang up in front of your ever-more popular shop with increasingly complex orders. The gameplay gets increasingly frantic based on what you prefer to do.

Quality over quantity? Then take it slow and watch those patties simmer into perfectly-cooked lumps of meat. (You’ll actually be able to watch them cook – the graphics are great). Go faster, take multiple orders, and you risk bad grilling and lopsided, slapdash burgers.

The game is so good because the graphics work really well with the game. Patties on the grill, for instance, visibly turn deeper shades of brown as they cook. You flip them over from time to time to keep both sides the same shade. When putting together your burger, you have to be careful where you drop that cheese or that drop of ketchup, cause it might end up on one side of the bun looking horrible. And this whole process ties into the final part when the customer looks at the burger and decides how good it is. The flowery music can get on your nerves after the first hour or two. Don’t let that put you down: it’s a great game and totally worth playing. If you’ve ever wanted to run a virtual burger branch, here’s your best shot. 7.5 out of 10!

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