Apparently written by a college freshman who barely passed psychology but really, really liked It, I Demon Stone is chock-full of awful character development. In this third-person hack-n-slashing action game, each of your three heroes has a sob story about how he was separated from his home and family. Together, they must save the world from the hideous fate of being ripped to shreds by two armies intent on destroying each other. However, your main incentive for staying alive doesn’t spring from any fondness for the characters, but from a desire to avoid being force-fed the same cut-scenes over and over again.
The basic setup of the game has promise. You can switch players on the fly. and each has a specialty to offer. The rogue can slip through the shadows unseen and slaughter enemies. She also jumps, but that’s needed only for a few mini-scenes and hidden treasure spots. Using the fighter doesn’t require much finesse, since his strength is, well, his strength. His special abilities include busting large rocks and obstacles. The mage has an unlimited long-range attack, much better for killing end guys than knives and axes are.
Yet the game doesn’t take advantage of its foundation. Much of the gameplay involves cither protecting something or attacking something that’s protected. Defeating most of the bad guys doesn’t require finding weaknesses, so the attack description you find most pleasing is the one you choose to level up.
When upgrading, there’s no need to ration your experience points or gold. Even if you’re a pacifist, you can still afford everything. This would be very cool, but all of the characters’ upgrades are focused on their main abilities. After a while, you get bored of seeing the words “increases the time Zhai remains undetectable.”
The most irritating aspect of Demon Stone is the carpal-tunnel-syndrome-inducing game-play. which harkens back to the original Diablo The incessant clicking is reminiscent of, but not nearly as gratifying as. using a retractable ballpoint pen.
Another major problem is that you can’t control the camera angles. Since the lens is always focused on the bad guy or the environment. It’s embarrassingly easy to lose your character. Even more maddening are the sudden view changes that leave you wondering which direction you’re actually heading. The lock of manual camera control also makes it easier to accidentally deflect enemy fire into your teammates, though normally they don’t wander aimlessly into enemy fire. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that if someone dies on a mission, it’s the character you’re currently controlling. So hooray for you.
The enemy A.I. on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. Characters’ predictable one-two-three attacks are easily countered, and their group communication is nonexistent.
Archers and mages often hit their own grunts, and the thugs themselves can’t go two steps without elbowing each other in the ribs.
Maybe it’s just Patrick Stewart’s narration, but Demon Stone is enjoyable despite its flaws. If you want to get your knuckles bloody or evaporate enemies on the spot, or better yet, if you’re in a vicious, backstab-bing mood. Demon Stone satisfies those basic needs, but not much else.
Verdict: Could have been much better, could hove been much worse. Verdict: 60/100
1. 50 SHADES OF ANGRY BIRDS
Whip the birds, throw in some horrifying misogyny, inexplicable best-seller.
3. ANGRY FLAPPY BIRDS
This probably already exists. But why not make it official, Rovio?
4. ANGRY ASSASSIN’S CREED: BIRDS
One of the forty Assassin’s Creed games due in the next four months.
5. TWIN PEAKS ANGRY BIRDS
Ooooh, mares eat oats and does eat oats and Angry Birds eat ivy…
Developer History: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 2002 [Xbox, PC] Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 2003 [PS2, Xbox, PC] Far Cry Instincts 2005 [Xbox]
High Point: Assassins Creed II took everything that made the first game a notable cinematic experience and applied improved elements of interactivity and game mechanics to it – making it an instant classic
Review: This game is basically Far Cry 3 with a different story line and set in a different location. What’s the big difference? NOTHING! I would have enjoyed this game even if it was a clone. However, the number of stability problems that this game have drove me crazy! The framerate issue is very annoying. It shouldn’t even be happening because my pc is quite beefed up.
Gaiapolis was Konami’s attempt to change its approach to beat-’em-ups, adopting a top-down perspective, a fantasy setting and some RPG-style elements to go with it. There’s a story at work, illustrated with cutscenes between stages, and the game even has a password system to allow players to resume their games. You can tell that Konami was attempting to create something of an epic here, and it works quite well. That having been said, the action is that of a standard beat-’em-up with added elements, rather than a more complete hybrid.
Each stage sees players wandering around, smacking up bad guys and collecting items. The game offers a variety of pick-ups – some are standard health items while others grant experience, allowing players to level up for more health and stronger attacks. The best ones are the assist characters though, as they provide diminutive helpers who will attack enemies either autonomously or as directed. We particularly like the little lizard knight, who knocks enemies down with a hammer.
Everything about Gaiapolis suggests a high quality production. The soundtrack ramps up the tension nicely and the visuals are amongst the best 2D visuals of their era, with varied stages and impressively large bosses to fight. The game also maintains its pace, not slowing down even with a variety of enemy characters are on-screen.
We’re not sure why this was never converted – it might not have the depth of a true role-playing game, but it certainly provides something different enough to be worthwhile. Even if the 16-bit consoles couldn’t have handled it, it would have made a good early release on the PlayStation or Saturn. Evidently, we’re not the only ones who liked it, as the game did eventually receive an unofficial Famicom conversion from the prolific pirate group Sachen.
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: TOWER OF DOOM 1993
Capcom’s attempt to bring the t high fantasy of Dungeons & Dragons to arcades resulted in a similar beat-’em-up format to Gaiapolis, though Capcom’s game retained the more traditional side-scrolling format.The game was bundled with its sequel on the Saturn in 1999, and on console and PC download services in 2013.
Yes. it’s available as an upgrade for Super Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition.
Q. NEW SINGLE-PLAYER MODES?
No. these modes are much the same as in the previous Street Fighter IV releases.
Q. ANY NEW BACKGROUNDS?
Yes. and rather like most of the new characters they’ve been recycled from Street Fighter X Tekken.
RU A WIZARD? >> In the original Gauntlet, which’ll be thirty years old next year, there wasn’t a great deal of difference between the four player characters. Each had their “thing” they did better than anyone else – the wizard had more powerful magic, the elf was quicker on his feet – but they played identically, so it was easy to jump from one character to another. In this new Gauntlet, though, there’s a lot more differentiation. In addition to their standard attack, each character now has a unique, recharging special ability and two slots for relics, which are basically spells that you equip and upgrade with loot earned in the dungeon.
Using each character effectively means mastering the use of their special ability and building the rest of your game around it. Elves that don’t appreciate the value of a good arrow bomb might as well not even be there. Same goes for valkyries who lay off on the vanguard charge. Switching to a new character can necessitate some significant adjustment. The wizard in particular is a whole different bag of mummy guts altogether: he’s got NINE different spells to choose from, each triggered by a unique combination of keyboard/button inputs. I’m going to be honest with you: I didn’t even give it a try. Too complicated. Wilks says good things, though.
JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL, THIS NEW GAUNTLET IS ALL ABOUT THE FOUR-PLAYER CO-OP
FOURPLAY >> Otherwise, the template established by Atari in 1985 remains largely untouched, and that’s a good thing because its appeal hasn’t waned in the interim. The reboot never gets close to the original in terms of the sheer number of enemies on-screen at once, but cleverly maintains a sense of constant pressure by confining most encounters to close quarters. And of course, just like the original, this new Gauntlet is all about the four-player co-op, which is thankfully easy to access and setup. If you’ve the time to invest in upgrading your relics and characters (who, I forgot to mention, earn buffs as they complete milestones) then the payoff in the form of a fourplayer “Unfair” run is more than worth it. The only problem: not enough levels. Didn’t the original have like 999? Something for future DLC instalments, perhaps. For now, though, this is still excellent value for money.
Review: Bossconstuctor is a unique game, catering to a relatively specific niche in games that hasn’t really been touched by very many developers until recently. (2 flash games, and 6 other games share similar characteristics, as far as I know.) That niche being the ability to create a ship of your design, lego-style, using a (currently) small cache of parts.
From the start, there is a level of polish which is sufficient to make this game simply look better than anything people might tout as “crap, weak, waste of money” which I can assure you it’s not. Currently, you are able to design and build a ship or fleet of ships with which to shower your rain of destruction.
There is a story mode which has, in recent patches, reflected the difficulty settings much better, where the harder modes not only include more larger enemies, but makes them a bit smarter too. It takes anywhere from 1-4 hours to complete an exploration, and now there is a save feature in case you can’t do it in one sitting!
A unique aspect to this game is the evolution pool. This is where you can sit back and watch the computer fight itself, learn from itself, and make its ships better. There could be some improvement here, as with any random generation environment, it takes time to see real results.
Eventually, I’d like to see mirko add something of a large open ecosystem you can journey through rather than small world points you have to jump to, thus combining two aspects of the game. However, the game is still early access, and as such has plenty of time to improve!
Design your own spaceship, fly it around, kill things, take their parts, and attach them to yourself. Also watch the computer kill itself. Also missions. And a storyline.
OS: Windows Vista/7/8
Processor: 2 GHz Dual-core CPU
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: OpenGL compatible graphics card
Hard Drive: 350 MB available space
OS: Windows 7/8
Processor: 2.3 GHz Dual-core CPU
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: OpenGL compatible graphics card
Hard Drive: 400 MB available space
Genre: Action, Indie, RPG, Simulation, Early Access
Developer: Mirko Seithe
Publisher: Mirko Seithe
Release Date: 4 Nov, 2014
|The level of destruction on show is astounding. With each collision comes a shower of lovely metallic rain.|
The folks behind the Flat Out series have finally lifted the lidon the Finnish studio’s upcoming, previously unnamed, crash-centric racer. Wreckfest (previously just Next Car Game) wears its engine on its sleeve with this new moniker, being a collision-heavy take on a much-revved genre.
The pit crew at Bugbear has already tuned up the game to the point of Early Access over on Steam, though the new name comes alongside a boot-full of fresh features for existing petrol heads to wrap their chassis around. Four new modes, including straight up Racing, self explanatory Demolition Derby, Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch have been introduced for up to 18 players to careen into at once. Bugbear has stated, however, that it hopes to eventually increase the total number of players to 24 to best make use of its incredible-looking destruction physics.
Alongside the introduction of multiplayer, Wreckfest has also earned itself a new track, the speedway, which will uniquely feature two tracks in one. On the outside lies an oval raceway, while on the inside the chaos unfolds across a figure of eight looping track.
At the moment it looks like Bugbear will continue to focus on the PC version of Wreckfest, although, despite a Kickstarter campaign which was cancelled well short of the console version stretch goal, the outfit has indicated that it would like to see the game on PS4 and XO.
There’s a lot to be said for a fair fight, but this is war – lives are at stake and you want the odds stacked in your favour. Luckily, an opening has been spotted and you’ve got a clear run at the enemy’s airfields. Magnificent machines of warfare, rendered useless in their unmanned state? Great. Lots of destruction now, less risk later. Enemy vehicles scramble to stop you, but you have the upper hand – aerial superiority is assured. You can enjoy the carnage, safe in the knowledge that you’ll not have to deal with fighter jets later on. For today, the war is going well.
BIO: The Gulf War had only been over for a year by February 1992, but EA was already releasing Desert Strike – a game in which the American military took on fictional Middle Eastern dictator General Kilbaba. Was this controversial? You bet, but it propelled the game to enormous success, becoming EA’s best-selling title to date. While the timing of the game’s release certainly helped, it was the game’s mission-based shoot-’em-up action that really turned heads, ensuring a wide variety of ports and spawning a series that would elaborate on Desert Strike’s core gameplay for the rest of the Nineties.
MORE CLASSIC DESERT STRIKE MOMENTS
Right at the start of the game, you know that the best co-pilot isn’t available to you – he’s missing in action, having been shot down over the gulf. He’ll be standing by the wreckage of his plane when you find him, defending himself from infantry. Gun down the enemy and enjoy the game’s best marksman and fastest winch operator.
The second stage sees you blowing jails open in order to rescue political prisoners. Clearing each site’s defences is easy, but the real test begins when the prisoners escape – reinforcements will arrive, meaning you’ll either have to seek a better position and avoid shooting the prisoners, or stay put and hold your nerve as they climb the rope ladder.
Desert Strike makes sparing but effective use of cutscenes, and you’ll see your first one upon reaching the bunker in the first mission. Having learned its location from a commander caught as part of your previous objective, you can land nearby and watch the co-pilot storm into the bunker in full hero mode to rescue the captured secret agent.
None of Desert Strike’s missions are a walkover by any stretch of the imagination, and you’ll barely scrape through some of them, just about making it to open water with only a couple of fuel units left. This cutscene is proof that you’ve made it home safe and you can jot down the next mission’s password without worry. Now, exhale…