An Outlawed Mage – Mages of Mystralia

A young mage born in a land where magic is banned, what do you do? Well, you didn’t know you were a mage until one night while weeping you burn down your cottage and now the whole world knows. Cast aside and thrown into the woods, you start your quest. Ashamed of what you are, you set out with the hope that you’ll be able to master your abilities and prove that you aren’t as terrible as everyone believes. You’re approached by a man who calls himself “mentor”, and he claims to be your mentor. He makes some remarks about either “be a mage or die,” and then lets you rest up at his home. After a quick rest, he sets you on a path to find a hidden mage village to learn your trade. At this point, you realize your mentor is a lazy sack of potatoes and he isn’t going to help you at all. No big deal, you’re an adventurer.

ScreenshotIGF.jpg

Now, by this point, you’ve probably read mountains of text and endured credits during gameplay. The game is very beautifully put together, and the artwork style is fantastic. However, it seems that the introduction transition over to gameplay phase is extremely drawn out. Don’t fret, the storyline is well worth it, young mage. As long as you don’t step in the Enchanter’s flower bed, all will be well. Actually, maybe you should step in his flowerbed so that you can learn more about the side quest of finding flowers for his garden. This will teach all those kids to get off my lawn! No, but seriously. You should talk to everyone, and explore all avenues in this game or you may miss another unique characteristic of gameplay. So fall into a river.

After leaving your “mentors” home, you soon fall through a bridge and float down a river. An untrained mage lost in the woods, with no help… What could go wrong? Luckily for you, you stumble upon an ancient and wise spellbook. It speaks to you telepathically, “this one will do”. Unsuspectingly, this mage book is more of a mentor then the one who calls himself of that name. He trains you how to use the four basic spells, and instead of a tutorial helps ease you into the game. It keeps the learning curve low as new elements are introduced, and who doesn’t love a talking spellbook? After a small journey, you reach your destination. There he is. Your mentor again.

Well where have you been?! Mentor should have had another name like lack-of-skill, too bad they don’t name characters in this game like Argonians in Skyrim. At this point, he pretty much tells you that you skipped all the tutorial stuff and are ready to be out on your own. That mages learn by doing. Well, I guess we’re expert mages now! At this point, you’re on your own to explore the land and restore magic back to Mystralia. Where better to start then to clear the forest of corruption? Nowhere, except from saving a young lady from goblins and grabbing her husband to clean up the mess.

Now I won’t go too much further when it comes to the storyline and gameplay. But I will talk about how this adventure-puzzler is like no other. Crafting unique spells to puzzles, saving Mystralia, and adventuring like there is no tomorrow. What makes this game so unique is that the same puzzle can be solved several ways depending on how you craft your spell, same with how a boss can be defeated several different ways depending on your spells and play style. Mages of Mystralia is a game like no other when it comes to spell-crafting. If Zelda was about spell crafting, this would be one of its many iterations. I look forward to game updates and sequels. I really hope they come out with multiplayer.  For now, I’ll enjoy the game a few more times until I’ve worn out the replayability.

Fortnite – Marvel Infinity War Crossover LTM

As a lot of you have probably heard by now, Fortnite has released a limited time mode which is a mash-up between the normal Fortnite Battle Royale, and Marvel’s main villain from Infinity War, Thanos.
The game mode is an amazing amount of fun for the amount of time I’ve put into it and it is by far my favorite limited time event they have released so far. The idea of the game is that you drop in an already closing circle and once the battle bus disappears the Infinity Gauntlet will drop from the sky as a meteor and strike a random spot in the circle.
After that, it’s free game to whoever can pick up the gauntlet to wield the mighty power of Thanos. Now you won’t see Thanos just running around with a gold scar, he has his own ability set which sets him apart from the other players:

Power Stone – Thanos uses the Power Stone as his main weapon for range by unleashing a line of power towards his enemies. This attack is a beam that you can follow the enemy with for a short amount of time dealing 15 damage for every hit.

Time Stone – The Time Stone is used in an odd way for this event, as it is Thanos’ Melee weapon. He uses the time stone to “Send them to a different time zone” as the kill feed will say. The melee attack is a straight lunge and destroys breakable objects around it.

Mind Stone – The Mind Stone is used by Thanos to jump exceptionally high. Thanos does not have a normal jump, but instead a jump that will charge up and allow for him to jump almost as high as the top of a mountain. This ability is useful for trying to get out of combat or to combo with the melee attack which I will describe below.

Mind/Time Stone Combo – If Thanos jumps into the air and then uses a melee attack, he will dive into the ground and create a small crater where he lands. This attack deals a lot of damage and can in most instances one-hit if the enemy is under you. But, it can also be used to destroy buildings quickly, because that the ability will go straight through any breakable objects.

Now, all of these abilities make it seem like Thanos is an all-powerful god who is unkillable (as he should be), but there is a couple of other things you should note.
– Although Thanos has 700 health and 300 shield, he cannot regain any health, and only regains shield through killing other players
– Thanos is visible to all other players on the map, minimap, and radar throughout the entire game.
– Thanos cannot build.
Once we take all of that into account, it really isn’t that difficult to kill Thanos, you just need to have a little bit of skill. And, once Thanos dies, the Gauntlet drops as an item for anyone else to pick up and wield.
I’m not sure how long this limited time mode is here for, but I hope that this opens the door to more amazing crossovers like this one.

A World in Need of Power – Plug Me

In a city run off of battery power, an evil man named Doc. Oxyde wishes to destroy it all by unplugging all of the power supplies. But thankfully, our hero Plugman is able to use his plug-like head to stop the draining of power and re stabilize the city. Plugman journeys through a series of five worlds each consisting of nine normal levels and one boss level. On each level there are battery packs which you can try to collect if you’re up for a real challenge.
Plug Me is a simple concept platformer game, but it brings it up a notch with the timer aspect. Each leveled is timed to just a couple of seconds to complete, and the timer is in the center of the screen. The gimmick is that the timer is also a platform that can be used in the game, so as the timer runs out, the platform will disappear along with it, so you need to reach the end before time runs out, or the city will start to lose its power. Each level brings in new difficult obstacles as well, like spikes, spinning spikes, and even falling bricks to block your escape.     The game seems short having only 52 levels in it, but once those levels are beaten you will unlock “hard mode” this is a mode where everything is made more difficult for the people who enjoy a challenge. I’m not sure if you just need to beat all of the levels though, or if you also need to get all of the plugs scattered throughout the levels too.
The music in the game is good music for a game, it has an upbeat tone to it while trying to keep a peaceful aspect, but it also changes. If you die five times in a row on a level, it will change to a faster music, and it will stay that way until you complete the level. All your death streaks also appear on the screen as they happen in sets of five, as if the game is reminding you how difficult it truly is. Also, if you end up with 10 deaths in a row, your pal Evinrude will help you out by eliminating an obstacle of the level.
I personally am not that great at platformer games, and this one is no different. I tried to beat the first couple of worlds and I got stuck about halfway through world two. The game has a small following of people who really enjoy it and I’ve talked with them about the game a little bit as well, most of them say that they had a bit of trouble their first few times playing the levels, but now they feel like the levels are much easier for them to complete knowing where to go.
I enjoyed the game and will definitely go back to it and try again to beat the levels I missed, a very good game that deserves a try from anyone willing to.

Hellish fun – Tormentor X Punisher Review

EDITOR WARNING: Article may contain profanity/vulgarities, and may not be suited for small children. Read at your own expense.

Tormentor X Punisher is one hell of a thrill ride. When I sit down to play, I feel like I’ve just injected caffeine into my bloodstream and strapped speakers blasting metal music to my skull. The game oozes violence and spews vulgarities like an edgy teen trying to impress his ‘cool’ friends. Even the title screen is a treat. Scrolling through the menu invokes unearthly screams from the titular female character. The bold title font pulses like a beating heart, and in the background, the face of a demon stares into your very soul. This game exposes us for the violent, crass animals we all are, and it makes us love every second of it.

Welcome to Planet Fuck You! It’s a real planet, between the giant sun of I don’t Give a Shit, and a moon shaped in a middle finger. Look it up.

Demons populate the planet, and it’s the perfect place for the pink haired demon slayer to unleash her fury. She hates demons with a burning passion of a thousand pyres. It comes across not only through her words, harshly screamed obscenities spat with enough distaste to make toes curl, but also in how she takes them apart. By blasting them into tiny, meat sized chunks, leaving them as bloody smears on the ground.

The game throws you into an enclosed arena, where you have to survive unending waves of demons for as long as possible. The controls are simple enough. Shoot to kill, fire your shotgun to reload, and always keep moving. It sounds disarmingly easy when you realise everything in the game can be killed in one hit, including you. It isn’t. On my first run, I lasted less than thirty seconds before being reduced to fleshy pulp.

The starting waves are a cakewalk. But things become maniac as demons spawn relentlessly, swarming you with single-minded determination like flies on manure. Once you survive past a certain time, anywhere between forty to sixty seconds, a boss spawns in the centre of the arena. The bosses that spawn are entirely random, and successfully killing one depends on luck or skill (I rely on the former). This mechanic is infuriating, but it ensures replayability. No single run will be alike.

The game has me hooked. Playing once isn’t enough, because each time you sit down and blast through it, it feels like a kick in the nuts. An adrenaline booster made of demon tears, head banging music, and copious amounts of muttered expletives. The tight controls are crucial for a game like this, because no one likes artificial difficulty brought on by shitty mechanics. Tormentor X Punisher focuses on gameplay and does it extremely well.

The only downside is the lack of the story. It’s a great game, but I generally like my games with a bit of lore, or backstory. With a colourful name like ‘Planet Fuck You’ and the main character’s hatred of demons, it’s hard not to wonder how everything came to be. Regardless, the game is still ridiculously fun, even without a story. If you’re looking for a fast-paced top down shooter rivalling the likes of Hotline Miami and Devil Daggers, Tormentor X Punisher is definitely worth a spin.

The Lost Gardens

Forgotten and lost to time, a mysterious entity known as The One has awoken you; an ancient robot known as The Caretaker. You are tasked with reclaiming the world from a being known only as Fear before he finishes draining the world of life. This is what the story of The Lost Gardens is suppose to be about. But frankly, I don’t see it. From my experience with The Lost Gardens, the game is barely playable.

While attempting to complete the first area, I managed to lose most of my health to jumping incorrectly as a result of the poor control mechanics. In a normal game this would not be a problem, however with The Lost Gardens if you die you return to your last save point. Now, the save will reload, erasing any progress you had made and returning you to the previous save health and all. Because that this is how their deaths work, I ended up stuck in an infinite loop of death to minions who spawned near the save spot I used and defeated me in one hit due to my low health.

But enough about the combat, let’s move on to the story, or should I say “lack thereof”. The story of The Lost Gardens is suppose to be that you are a robotic caretaker who has been awoken to defeat an evil known as “the Fear” but as far as I progressed I noticed no story development whatsoever. You are just told to wander around until something happens, so if you end up taking a wrong turn or don’t notice a jump you could be making, there is no progression to be made. The story doesn’t even give a proper introduction or tutorial. It explains that WASD allows you to move and that SPACE is jump, but then it throws you in and lets you figure the rest out on your own.

I wish I could stop there, but there is another major problem I found with the game and that is the mapping in itself. There were quite a few times where I would jump into a corner and be lifted above the map with no means of getting down aside from jumping into the water and killing myself to reset my save. The map has many glitched areas like that, as well as spots where you can sneak past walls in order to get to unreachable areas, like where secrets could be hidden, but in reality it is just death waiting for you.

As much as I would love to support the developers of this game by telling everyone to grab it for a good time, I found the game was far too buggy and a lot of the combat/mapping issues should be resolved before moving on. If there is an update put out on the game I will most likely try it again, but for now, I feel the game is just too unplayable and it will have to be left in my library for another time.