Reviews by DeltaBladeX
And down it goesDeltaBladeX | Dec. 16, 2013 | Review of Bridge It (Plus)
Bridge building games don't like something that would be that fun at first though. Stick up some pieces without breaking your budget, make sure it doesn't fall apart while a car crosses, and then continue to the next level. Despite this, there are games in the genre that are truly fun, this being one of them. Let me describe why this should be on your wishlist.
Story Some crazied maniac has managed to destroy a number of bridges over the region, and now that they need new ones, they grabbed the first person off the street to create them. Despite your lack of experience and skill, you are forced to ensure that companies can still get their goods transported where ever they need to be without letting the drivers lose their lives.
Or maybe this has no story at all. Its a bridge building game, we don't need a story. But if you do, just pretend it is the one written above.
Presentation The visuals are pretty basic, but you know exactly what you are looking at, and it has several camera options, including viewing from the vehicles themselves as they plunge over a cliff. Materials will be recognized, and will change colour to show how stressed they are with a toggle option. Sound is also suitable, with metal groaning as it threatens to ruin your hard work, and noises from the vehicles. Not any music in this game though. Not really a problem though.
Controls Nice and simple, pretty much everything can be done with just the mouse. Left click will take you through the menu and place pieces of the bridge. Right click is used to remove pieces. Holding the shift key will allow you to select multiple pieces of your bridge so you can copy and paste larger chucks if you want the other side to mirror your current idea. Arrow keys and the mouse wheel can be used to adjust the camera. nothing here to cause any confusion or difficulty.
Gameplay Working within the limitations set by your budget and available materials, you will be attempting to buld a bridge to cross over various rivers and canyons. These will start simple, with only small areas to build across and only basic materials to make it easy to guess the best choices. As you get further in the game, the bridge will need to be much longer and you will need to mix it up with stronger pieces, cables and even hydraulics so your bridge can lift out of the way of passing boats. Later levels are incredibly difficult as it will seem that you just don't have what you need to prevent the latest travelers from taking a swim, but each of the bridges in the game can be finished. With all the available choices for building your bridge, I much prefer this game over similar titles I've played, none of them matching this for variety.
Lifespan The game should last a while. With a tutorial with 3 levels, Easy difficulty with 6 levels, and then Medium, Hard, Complex and Extra each having 8 levels, you have a total of 41 gaps to cross. While there is no sandbox mode as such, there are a couple of cheats available to increase your budget and unlock all materials for that level. As well as all of the included levels, the game includes a menu option to load other levels within the game, though I'm not sure where you may be able to find these additional locations.
If you have any interest in trying a bridge construction simulator, this is the game to go for. The most options for building your bridges as well as the ability to load custom levels makes this title the best choice.
Now with 50% more explosionsDeltaBladeX | Nov. 23, 2013 | Review of Resident Evil 6
The newest game in the Resident Evil series, this game covers a number of characters from earlier titles, including Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong, as well as newly introduced characters like Jake Muller, as they deal with the newest virus outbreak. Sadly, the game isn't perfect, with a number of flaws that can drive off fans, but it can still be a fun title to play through.
Story A new terrorist organization calling itself Neo-Umbrella has managed to release their newest virus, and you will get to play through four different campaigns to find out exactly what is happening. There are a few surprises through the story, and I recommend leaving Ada for last as her campaign will spoil quite a bit otherwise.
Presentation Graphically, the game is beautiful. Capcom didn't skimp on the visuals, with enemy models showing damage as you take them down, and the human characters looking pretty great as well. Locations are nice, and blurry textures were pretty rare during my time with the game.
On to the sound, and most of it is good here. For the music, it rarely did much to get me scared, but it never got irritating. The sound effects are a lot better, and the voice acting is well down, with the growls and moans from the zombies being just what I want to hear in a horror game.
Controls Break out that 360 gamepad. Dealing with quick time events on the keyboard was a pain, and this game has a fair number of them. Its a lot easier to pull that stuff off with the gamepad. Once you are using one, controls shouldn't be a problem, the mapping for it is just fine.
Gameplay And now for the most important part of any review, how the game plays. Sadly, this section is where it starts to get disappointing. Resident Evil 4 and 5 were shifting the series away from survival horror to an action game, and it seems as if this is finally done. Helicopters attempting to gun you down in the streets, running for your life as everything explodes behind you, gun fights everywhere you look, the series has changed a lot since the release of the original Resident Evil.
While there are still a lot of zombies, mostly in the Leon campaign, most of your fights will instead be with the J'avo, mutated humans who still have access to all sorts of guns and other weapons. Would will be spending a fair chunk of battles taking cover from your enemies and popping out to let off your own bursts of fire. Damage their body and they may mutate further to deal with it, such as growing new limbs to replace the damaged ones or becoming beast like creatures which require more work to bring down.
Between chapters, you can purchase bonus skills to help your character, ranging from higher damage against certain enemy types and getting more item drops, to infinite ammo for your weapons once you have beaten all the campaigns.
Lifespan Here the game isn't too bad. As well as a campaign that can last about 20 hours, there are a few extra modes like the classic Mercenaries mode, the multiplayer Agent Hunt mode, and a few others which can be purchased as DLC. I don't have any of the DLC, so can't tell you how they play, unfortunately.
Mercenaries has you against a large number of zombies and dealing with a timer. Rush to take them down, with each kill granting you more time, but trying to stay alive won't be easy. There is also the No Mercy mode for Mercenaries, which allows co-op and includes content from the Left 4 Dead series from Valve.
Agent Hunt is an interesting idea. In this mode, you will take control of a random enemy and connect to a game of another user. You will then get the chance to attempt to kill the user yourself. Should he manage to take you down, you will simply become yet another creature in that map. The monster you become can range from the standard zombie or J'avo to some of the more powerful infected creatures.
As well as the bonus modes, there are a number of collectables to find and destroy during the campaign, which unlock profiles and character models.
Glitches One rather annoying problem I had with this game was a glitch that causes the game to take a fair bit of time to start up. This doesn't effect everyone, but if you do get it, you can be left waiting a while just to play the game. I only need to wait on a blank screen for three minutes, but while looking on forums for help, I found others who were waiting up to fifteen minutes. That this is still a problem nine months after release makes me doubt it will get patched any time soon.
Closing Despite the shift in focus for the series, this isn't a horrible game. It can be incredibly fun if you just want to mow down hundreds of enemies. Sadly, it isn't anything impressive, and with the glitch I mentioned above, I honestly can't give this a higher score.
Now this is how a handheld port should be handledDeltaBladeX | Oct. 31, 2013 | Review of Resident Evil: Revelations
Originally released for the 3DS early last year, Revelations was an incredible game for the system and the series. A little over a year later, Capcom decided to release it on the consoles and PC, only shortly after the release of the poorly received Resident Evil 6. In the move to other systems, we got an additional difficulty setting and costumes, as well as improvements made to the existing content.
Story Set between Resident Evil 4 and 5, this game will have you playing as Jill Valentine, as she and her current partner in the BSAA, Parker Luciani, are sent to look for Chris and his partner, as well as discover the source of creatures that have been washing up on shore. They soon discover a cruise ship filled with dead people and various monsters. Their day goes down hill from there.
Presentation While not as pretty as Resident Evil 6, the visuals in this game are quite nice, and its easy to forget that this was original made for a screen only a few inches big. Some textures are a little blurry, but they shouldn't ruin your enjoyment. Character models for both you and enemies look great though, even if the locations aren't always as nice.
The voice acting in this game works well, with there never being any problem understanding what characters are saying. No faults here. Music works well to set the mood of the locations, adding to the atmosphere. The sound effects are also great, with plenty of small things to enhance the scares.
Controls You won't have any problems with controls, no matter if you prefer a gamepad like me or a keyboard and mouse. Both work well, using the standard controls for a third person shooter. If you are ever doing poorly in the game, it will be on you rather than the fault of poor controls.
Gameplay Well the controls may have shifted to the standard for a third person shooter, you don't need to worry that this is all action and explosions like Resident Evil 6 was so fond of. This game frequently has you searching for just a bit more ammo and dodging monsters rather than destroying them. It even has some of the old fetch quest puzzles to keep you busy. You are simply able to move around better while dealing with the swarms of foes. The shambling monstrosities can still get in your way often enough, but its easy enough to take them down. Just don't forget to keep an eye on your ammo, and the other on your surroundings, as there are always more beasts looking to take you down. Many of the fights will involve numerous creatures looking to nibble on you.
This game has streamlined the inventory. Now, you can hold at most three weapons, some grenades of various types, several green herbs (the other types being removed from this game), and as many key items as you find. The only time you will need the storage box is to switch between various weapons and upgrade them. These are one of the new changes, where you can find various parts to try out on your gear. Some will boost damage, others increase clip size or reload speed, and others will be able to boost other stats or add additional abilities to your favourite weapons.
The last major addition to this game that should be mentioned is the Genesis. This device allows you to scan your surroundings and the various enemies you come across. Enemies will boost the Genesis scan percentage, with it giving you an additional herb every time you reach 100%, which scanning the landscape will reveal hidden items such as ammo or weapon parts. You should want to do this often so you aren't later forced to take down a larger enemy with just your basic pistol.
This game is incredible fun, but being a Resident Evil title, and one made for a handheld to boot, the game can be finished rather quickly if you are focused on just beating the story mode. My own playtime for the story was just over 6 hours.
Lifespan Fortunately, there is no reason you have to stop there. If playing the story over in New Game Plus mode while on a higher difficulty isn't enough to tempt you, perhaps the Raid mode will. This is a series of levels based on the story mode, where you will need to reach the end of each level while taking down the enemies in your way, either while playing solo or with a friend online. As you go through each area and accomplish goals, you will earn additional weapons, weapon parts, costumes and experience. Your character will be able to level up and become more powerful, which will be wanted for the later Raid levels.
Closing This is, in my opinion, one of the best Resident Evil titles available, and easily the best released in the last 8 years. Good story, great gameplay and an extra mode for you and a friend to continue enjoying well after you have tired of beating the main mode. If you have a system capable of running it, be it PC, console or 3DS, you should be sure to add it to your collection as soon as you can.
I played games 10 years ago that outdo this in every wayDeltaBladeX | Sept. 30, 2013 | Review of R.A.W: Realms of Ancient War
Having been a fan of the Snowblind engine games on consoles like Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and Champions of Norrath, I had some interest in this title as well. Unfortunately, this game has left me massively disappointed.
Story You are wandering around when you get attacked by some creatures. A voice tells you to head through a portal. You find the voice belongs to one of the 4 realms Kings, who is trapped in crystal and yet still able to communicate. He wants your help to activate 4 gates and stop these creatures at the source.
More stuff happens later, but it doesn't get any better. The story is boring and forgettable. I quickly lost interest in it myself.
Presentation Graphically, this game is decent. Not great, with the fixed camera, boring locations and constant repeated enemy types, but it isn't horrible. You at least know where you are on the screen, most of the time.
Music and sound effects are poor at best. Fortunately, you won't remember it after you are done with the game.
Controls The keyboard / mouse controls are just awful. Please, don't even try to play this without a gamepad. Playing with a gamepad has its problems still, but it can be played at least. You are unable to remap anything but the four face buttons, which could result in some irritation since the game doesn't follow the standard controls for similar games that use a gamepad.
Gameplay Move forward, beat up enemies that spawn out of nowhere within sight of your character, and repeat. The randomly spawning enemies are quite a pain in the arse, and it doesn't help they don't even spawn out of camera.
Gear is boring, with each piece of equipment for your chosen camera being the same as your previous gears in every way but stats. Speaking of stats, only gear can change those, levelling simply allows you a skill point to power up mostly pointless skills. Each skill doesn't even give you specifics on their enhancements, instead saying stuff like 'Minor damage, Moderate damage and Greater damage', meaning you won't even know how useful a skill is without spending points on it. At least there is an item you can use to have all skill points reset so you can later invest them in better skills.
Wandering around each level can be bothersome as you have not been given a minimap of any sort, just a compass to point you towards your current quest location. Most levels aren't so big that you require it, but its sill an annoying omission.
Lifespan If you can somehow beat the game even once, you still have the option of beating the game with all three character classes. I pity the people attempting such a goal.
This also has a rather poor co-op mode, with the second player having a character with a scaled level and default equipment, that won't be saved between levels. Beyond getting an achievement by having a second player join in, I doubt anyone will bother with co-op.
Closing Even ignoring the much better competition that was released years ago, this game is a poor choice for purchase. I would recommend against purchasing this title, your money can and should be spent on much better items.
You sure my team aren't zombies?DeltaBladeX | Aug. 7, 2013 | Review of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Set in Raccoon City during the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3, this game has you taking your team through streets, alleys and masses of zombies in order to complete your missions.
You are part of an elite team sent to Raccoon City by Umbrella to retrieve samples of the G-Virus created by William Birkin. Later missions will have you taking down the power in the city and destroying any evidence about what Umbrella has been doing. Along the way, you will meet some characters you should recognize if you have played the older games. The events of this game are not part of the series though, which does make sense.
This game is looking great. For a ruined city, this place is perfect. Raccoon City is wasted, just as it should be. Destroyed cars, dead bodies and burning wreckage all over the place. The indoor locations like Umbrella labs also look perfect. Moving onto the enemies, these are also as they should be. The zombies themselves look perfect for what they are.
Now we get to the sound, and that isn't so good. Forgettable music, poor voice acting and lacking sound effects all make me wonder if they tried here. Even the moans just aren't what they could be.
As a game developed with consoles in mind, it is best to stick with a gamepad. Even the HUD features a DPad to select your grenades and healing items. Playing with the pad, most of the controls worked decently, though attempting to make headshots with the analog stick was aggravating. More than once, I'd use my mouse to aim for those bits.
This game takes a massive departure from most of the other titles in the series, being a team based third person shooter with plenty of ammo to let lose at your enemies. Most enemies are bullet sponges though, and it will take time to clean up the mobs in your way. Nothing inspired here, it plays like many other team based shooters, such as the Left 4 Dead series.
There are six different character classes to pick from, each with their own active and passive skills to level up and use during gamplay, allowing different gameplay styles in your team. You have a Assault member, great with their guns, Demolitions who can set traps, a Medic for healing all your woes, a Scientist who can infect and control enemies, the Recon is all about stealth and finally the Surveillance member for boosting your ability to detect items and enemies.
The only problem with your team is that they are incredibly stupid, with me left wondering if even the zombie AI is smarter, since that lot don't get lost when attempting to hunt. This is easily fixed by having friends play, but unlike more popular titles, there isn't a lot of players around.
With a total of six levels, I found this game to be rather short. Once you have beaten the game, you have a few things to do, such as trying to get higher ranks in each level, powering up each of your six characters and finding enough intel in the levels to unlock all images in the Gallery.
There are a number of multiplayer modes, but like co-op, you aren't going to have many people willing to play with you. I wouldn't depend on that unless you want to gift out several copies to people on your friend list.
There are also a number of DLCs available, though I'm only going to mention the important ones here, the Echo Six content. This adds additional missions to the Free Play mode, in which you play as another group, working against Umbrella. This group is nothing more than reskins of the original team though, with the same skills available, but the missions themselves are different. If you care for the gameplay, these are worth purchasing.
While this game is nothing special, I enjoyed it enough that my purchase during a 75% off sale didn't feel like a rip off, as any early buyers would have felt. It has uninspired gameplay and isn't popular enough to fill a team for co-op, but it isn't bad.
Who needs some new socks and belts?DeltaBladeX | May 26, 2013 | Review of Streets of Rage
Back in the late 80s and early 90s, the beat em up genre was highly popular with Sega bringing out arcade games like Golden Axe and Alien Storm to compete with others like Final Fight and Double Dragon. While they ported their games to the consoles, it seems they decided they also needed a game just for the home systems, and so Bare Knuckle / Streets of Rage was born. This trilogy of games was highly popular on the Mega Drive and is considered great even now. The games did receive a fair bit of censorship when coming to the west, with the 3rd game losing a boss and secret playable character, as well as receiving a much different story. While Sega never made a 4th game for the series, fans have created a fan game called Streets of Rage Remake which is worth checking out. Well, enough history, time to talk about how it all started.
Gangs own the city. Corrupt officials and cowards prevent the problem from being solved. Three officers quit the force, go vigilante and move forth to beat up some punks. Sound familiar? It should do, most games in the genre had a story just like this.
Graphically, this game is okay. However, if you have already played the later games in the series, you will notice that the art style in this game was different, with both player characters and enemies looking different. The style in this game is fine, but I prefer the later designs.
Now the music, that is damn awesome, as should be expected from the series. Some truly memorable tunes during the levels, that helped cement this series as proof that the Mega Dive can output some good music with its hardware.
The sound effects however, aren't so great. Some basics yells, screams, thumps and dings. Rather uninspiring.
The emulator used for this and other games in the Sega Mega Drive Classics supports use of a keyboard, but I highly recommend a gamepad if you own one. Easier to control that way.
Anyway, the game controls well, not going to have any difficulties performing the attacks and moving around.
When starting the game, you have the choice of three characters. Adam, who moves slower than the other two, Blaze, the weakest of the trio, and Axel, who just can't do a decent jump kick. Minor differences between the three, really.
When it comes to the combat, there isn't much to say. Walk right, punch everyone a few times, then move on. Much as with the story, you will already know what to expect. This game is all about beating up the nameless thugs that get in your way. Your character was unable to perform any special move themselves in this game, but you are able to call in support from a police officer who will fire a weapon to take down any enemies currently surrounding you. This has a limit of one use per level though unless you find a pickup for more. Outside of that, you have all the genre standards to take down your enemies, punching, kicking, knives, baseball bats and metal pipes.
Other than replaying this on a higher difficulty, the only other extra in this game requires a second player. Late in the game, you will be able to unlock a bad end by having each player choose differently when asked a question. Nothing special really. On the bright side, it actually had support for co-op, unlike Final Fight.
Well, all said and done, while this game isn't as great as either of the following titles in the series, it was still fun back when I first got to play it on the Mega Drive. It just doesn't do so well in comparison. It was still the birth of a great series, and for that, it deserves my praise. If only Adam got to stick around for the later games.
Can this match the classics, or is it another failure?DeltaBladeX | April 27, 2013 | Review of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I
Sonic the Hedgehog, who doesn't know of him by now? A Sega character who started off on the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis, this guy has been in games for over 20 years, rescuing small animals from the evil Doctor Robotnik (AKA Eggman). The original trilogy were a great bunch of games, and still makes Sega plenty of cash through numerous released collections, but not all of the games released since then have been so popular, with several considered to be truly bad. More recently, the series has been returning to quality games with Generations and Colors. But enough about that, you are here to see where this game stands.
This game strips away a lot of the characters other clutter that the series has added over the years. Once again, it is just Sonic, Robotnik and a hoard of Badniks (the robots that contain many of the captive animals). Once again Robotnik is causing trouble, and Sonic aims to stop him from taking over.
The graphics in this game obviously want to get you right in the nostalgia. You will see a lot of stuff you remember from the classic games, only now in a much higher resolution. Level style, enemies, special levels, all are little more than updated versions of classic content. I won't deny that it looks pretty, but it would have been nice to see some more new content during the levels rather than rehashed tiles.
A minor niggle with the graphics, a problem I did have was some flickering occurring on the background objects, despite the fact that my computer should have no displaying any of it.
Sound wise, this starts off with the classic SEGA! intro jingle which I'm sure many fans will remember. And from there, it goes onto mostly forgettable tunes, though some updated classics exist in the soundtrack. The sound effects stick to the classics as well, with everything in the levels making the sounds you would expect.
Playing with an XBox 360 controller, I have to say these work well enough. You move with the left analog stick and jump with the A or B button. Later on, you can transform to Super Sonic, which is mapped to the Y button. Other than pausing the game with Start, nothing more is required to play this game. It also has acceptable controls for keyboard, using the arrow keys and Space bar.
Time for the most important part of the review. Much like the presentation section would suggest , this game isn't going to introduce new ideas, rather aiming to hook fans using nostalgia. Each Zone is remixed from classic levels, with most of them sure to be familiar to long time players of the series. You have Splash Hill in the style of classic Green Hill levels, Casino Street which takes Casino and spring based levels, Lost Labyrinth with the expected ruins and water, and Mad Gear which brings back the mechanical base levels. There is also E.G.G. Station, which consists of a boss run and final boss fight in Robotnik's typical space base, and the Special Stage, which is the seven levels containing the Chaos Emeralds, and based on the special levels from the original game.
Each of the 4 main Zones has 4 Acts with the final Act always having a boss fight against Robotnik. Most of these fights have been taken from previous games, but since each fight is split into two sections where Robotnik tries new tactics, at least you won't be expecting everything.
Despite each Zone having a main theme, most Acts will each have a gimmick to set them apart from other levels in the game. One level will have you running through dark ruins with a burning torch to light your way, another will have you shooting yourself from cannons, a third will have you escaping from a giant cog. This will keep the levels from being too repetitive despite many of the gimmicks being featured in older games.
Beyond the main levels of the game you still have the seven Chaos Emeralds to collect, with all seven unlocking Super Sonic as a playable character, as fans would expect. Within this game, he is playable in the regular levels, a feature that hasn't been part of the series since the original Mega Drive games, with other titles giving him his own special level to complete at the end of the game. There is also a total of 12 achievements to unlock during the game if you are interested in such things.
While this game might not be to the same standard as the classic trilogy, it is still a decent game for the series, and worth playing through if you enjoy the Sonic games. Despite trying to cash in on your nostalgia, it plays well enough that it is at least worth picking up during a sale. It will keep you busy for a number of hours easily enough.
An enjoyable zombie killer on the cheapDeltaBladeX | Feb. 11, 2013 | Review of Dead Pixels
While not some high profile release with an impressive story and hundreds of hours of gameplay, I enjoyed my time with this game.
Story The game has three scenarios, each with a different story. Dead Pixels is the first one, this is rather basic. The dead are returning from the grave, you must reach the airport to escape the town. The second is The Solution in which you are a convict sent to the town to attempt to do something about the zombies. The final one is Last Stand where you are a survivor who was unable to reach the airport, and must survive for as long as possible.
Presentation This is pretty good. Some basic blocky graphics, similar to the kind of images you would expect from a Sega Genesis / Mega Drive or Super Nintendo. They certainly work, you won't have any trouble noticing a zombie against the background. Each zombie type is different enough that you know what to expect from themm when you get close.
As for music and sound effcts, these are good enough. The music isn't memorable, but at least gets you in the mode for dealing with zombies. As for the groans, gun shots and other effects, they are fine.
Controls I played this with a wired XBox 360 gamepad, as the game was originally released for the XBox Live Indie library and had the controller in mind when released. Because of this, I can't confirm how good other control methods may be. What I can confirm is that it works great with the gamepad, using the triggers and bumpers to fire you current weapon and throw grenades in either direction. The left analog stick will move your character and the face buttons will perform actions like a basic melee attack and using doors.
Gameplay Now for the important part of the review. In this game, you will play a character who will keep going right past groups of zombies, traveling several blocks in order to reach his goal and escape, unless you are playing the Last Stand scenario, where you simply try to survive as long as you can. Obviously, the rotting corpses will do their best to prevent you from doing this, by attacking you using any method they can, some even spitting at you. Now, you do start with a weapon and some ammo, but firing madly into the groups will expend your limited bullets quickly. However, by entering buildings along the way, you will find various items left behind by the previous inhabitants. You can take weapons, ammo and other items from these buildings, but be sure to not overload yourself if you wish to continue escaping. In two of the scenarios, Dead Pixels and Last Stand, some buildings will also contain survivors willing to purchase items from you, as well as selling some of their own. They will also allow you to exchange cash in order to upgrade skills, like weapon damage, inventory size and movement speed. When playing The Solution, these survivors are no longer around, but you do have a choice of characters, each with their own skills already for you to survive.
Lifespan Provided you enjoy the game enough to continue playing, there is a good amount to do. The game has 4 difficulty settings, each of which extends the number of blocks you must travel to escape. It also supports co-op if you have a friend willing to play with you. It also has 30 achievements to earn if you are interested in collecting those.
In the end, while I admit this game isn't perfect, at the price of $3, you easily get what you paid for in terms of fun.