Reviews by swixel


Another 2D scroller

swixel | Sept. 2, 2011 | Review of Mechanic Infantry - PC

Mechanic Infantry has some nice sounds, some nice visuals, but runs on much of the same mechanics we're used to seeing in sidescrollers, dating back to the 90s. With the overwhelming number of low-fi scrollers, and the big hits like SuperMeatBoy standing out, Mechanic Infantry sits somewhere towards the higher end of the crowd. Providing some atmosphere assisted by the beat of the music, the game features some intense "chase" scenes where you run from large, angry, machines (advertised as 'pursuit'). The duration of the game (over 50 levels) is more than fair for the price, and it serves as a reminder that casual 2D scrollers can be a great deal of fun, even if you're not holding a weapon. For an indie game, it is rather amazing in its looks and sounds. That said, the music is a bit repetitive, but the beat is required, so that is forgiven. The graphics are quite pretty, and all of the sprites fit nicely with the background, building a cohesive setting, but it is a bit dark (but not hard to see, just 'negative') at times. From my gameplay, it feels like these were both intended effects, so are forgiven as they are expected. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a low-stress/casual sidescroller, and welcome their next title.


Tongue in cheek city builder

swixel | Sept. 1, 2011 | Review of Tropico 4 - PC

Tropico 4 continues the rich tradition of Tropico, adding new and interesting features to the game's mix. Instead of simple earthquakes, a myriad of disasters plague you, from natural disasters like the tornado to social ones like rebels and lost elections, you will almost always be fighting something. Beyond those troubles, you've got the typical Tropican problem of balancing economy with happiness. This isn't just Tropico 3+, just like Tropico 3 wasn't just Tropico+. The new buildings, the cabinet/ministry, and the complexity of having to buy the blueprints for most of the buildings changes the gameplay in a significant way. The difficulty hasn't increased, but it has changed. Tropico 4 is a must play for fans of the Tropico series, as it builds upon the gameplay style of its ancestors and once again refuses to sacrifice its integrity for cookie-cutter parts. Another unique (albeit incrementally unique) experience. I recommend it for all fans of city-builders and real time strategy games alike.


Not an FPS, except boss fights.

swixel | Aug. 29, 2011 | Review of Deus Ex Human Revolution (1) - PC

Having recently completed my fourth playthrough, I can say this: Deus Ex: Human Revolution is not a first person shooter. It is more of an Action RPG with a first person perspective. If you run through the game like almost any other FPS game (save, perhaps, the recent Call of Duty games), you will die. Repeatedly. Deus Ex: Human Revolution follows in the footsteps of games from the same studio, like Thief and Hitman, relying on forethought before running out with guns blazing. Even the most difficult of situations can be resolved without the revolver. With a small selection of non-lethal weapons (stun-gun, tranquilliser rifle, PEPS gun), and a range of lethal weapons (the usual assortment), all with upgrades to damage, speed, reload, aiming, and other (e.g. 'exploding rounds'), this installment of Deus Ex teaches the player to think. Most of the game is spent starved for resources, with plenty of the weakest ammo around to remind you not to take on anything except the boss. It is possible to get through the game killing absolutely everything which may die, but it takes far longer than it is worth, and you are better off learning about cover and stealth -- unless it's a boss, then you have to dispatch them. While I am an RTS player, this is, hands down, the best game I have ever played -- including Portal. From the stealth, to the combat, to the interaction with others (particularly 'persuading' them), this game puts other franchises to shame, outshining the signatures of others. The 'minigame' that is hacking makes a lot of fully-fledged hacking games look trivial, and the use of augments of extend this only hammers that home. All in all, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a wonderful story-driven stealth/spy game, full of fantastic features and stimulating visuals. Don't let the promotional still-shots fool you, this game isn't about killing (unless you play the game on the easiest setting), but about using your head to prove that you are the best man in mind and body.


A lot like a lot, a little like nothing before

swixel | Aug. 18, 2011 | Review of From Dust - PC

From Dust isn't Populous or Black and White. Nor is it your average RTS or God simulator. From Dust is a bit like RTS, with indirect control of your units, an the ability to build terrain, rather than buildings. Some might say that this is a god simulator, but you shouldn't be looking for anything beyond terraforming with some spells. It's a new experience, but it's not really like a God simulator, nor an RTS, nor an RPG. It's like the best bits of everything thrown together, with enough indirect control to make it a bit like Majesty 2, Black and White, Populous, yet at the same time nothing like them. A fantastic game in its own right.