Yodanji (Switch Review) – Bite Sized Supernatural Fun

Yodanji is a dungeon crawler rogue-like that’s perfect for short breaks. Select your Yokai, a term referring to traditional Japanese monsters of supernatural origin, and descend into a brutal every changing dungeon to face off against vicious monsters.

You get exactly what the game says on its tin. A challenging but straightforward RPG that’s great in small doses, the perfect game to pick up and play when you’re suddenly hit with a bout of restlessness. There are three modes, Yokai Hunt, Yokai Picnic and Challenge Dungeon. There’s a tutorial mode where you learn the basics, the ins, and outs of dungeon crawling. Regulars of the genre might skip it, but I recommend playing it as the game’s UI doesn’t explain much at first glance.

In Yokai Hunt, your goal is to go through the randomly generated dungeon to collect three scrolls to obtain a new monster for your collection. Once you unlock a new Yokai, you can use it in your next attempt to tackle the dungeons. Yokai Picnic is a slightly more accessible version, useful if you want less of a nail-biting experience, or want to complete your monster collection just a little quicker.

I spent the most time with Yokai Hunt. I’m one of those players who obsessively lust after completing a collection, so it didn’t come as a surprise. I had lots of fun trawling through the depressing, cavernous dungeon floors, either carelessly exploring the environment or cautiously creeping to the next room, hoping to find loot and not the angry maw of a disgruntled monster. Procedural generation gives the game good replayability; you never know what you’d encounter or experience in each run. Scrolls also provide lore for different types of Yokai, nuggets of information hidden for the player to discover.

The Challenge Dungeon is a mode where your playthrough has the potential to be never-ending, finishing only if your Yokai dies. I felt like the encounter rate was significantly higher in this mode compared to the others. Everything else is identical to Yokai Hunt, however. Leveling up is done by killing a Hitodama, a spirit, giving you points to unlock skills unique to each Yokai. The game typically has one in the room you first spawn in, a nice boost which levels the playing field against other monsters.

Yodanji is challenging. Not only because of how difficult it is to kill monsters, but also due to the hunger mechanic and the fact that finding good loot is extremely luck based. As your Yokai explores the dungeon, it gets hungry. If it doesn’t eat for a short period, it goes from Peckish to Famished. The punishment for having a hungry monster is steep, energy and health will remain as it is and will not be replenished. This can be a killing blow, especially if you lack items to get rid of this debuff.

I think this mechanic adds an unnecessary amount of pressure; it’s always a rush to find loot because you’d never know if the next few levels are completely devoid of items. I typically did find enough food or items for my Yokai, but there were several playthroughs where I couldn’t find anything at all, leading to my unfortunate death. There are no alternate tactics to overcome this, relying on luck is all you can do.

The UI can also be finicky. When you unlock a skill, you have to use the directional controls of your d-pad to use them. It’s a little troublesome, primarily because after you unlock them, the only way to identify them is by the icons shown at the corner of the screen. When you’re battling against another monster, missteps are easy to make. There were quite a number of times I pressed the wrong button and ended up using the wrong skill in the heat of the moment. I get mildly annoyed when it happens, but it isn’t that big a deal once you get used to the game. It’s easily circumvented if you keep your wits about you.

Overall I think Yodanji is an excellent offering for its price. It scratched my itch for a dungeon crawler, and though it isn’t a meaty RPG, it does an excellent job of keeping you occupied for a short while. Having it on the Switch is exceptional as well since the game can be enjoyed in short bursts. An exciting indie title that’s worth trying out if you’re a fan of Japanese themed games or Japanese games in general.

Stardew Valley – Perfect for the Switch

If you haven’t heard of this game, you’ve probably been living under a rock. But for all the Patrick’s out there, Stardew Valley is a farming RPG that lets you play as a farmer living off the bounty of the land. Befriend and romance the residents of sleepy Pelican Town, fish by the pier, or explore the cavernous underground. Despite already being 2 years since its initial release, the game is still going strong, the addition of multiplayer stoking new excitement in existing owners.

With a Nintendo Switch, bringing Stardew Valley along your daily commute is no longer a pipe dream. I’ve put sixty hours into the game on PC, but I couldn’t resist having it on a portable. Purchasing what is essentially the same game can seem weird, but I love owning games I like on multiple platforms. If you’re one of the lucky few who have yet to experience the joy of Stardew Valley, getting it for the Switch will be your best decision yet.

Farming is pleasant enough to make your mind wander, but engaging enough to keep you interested. Scoff if you must, but the act of planting, watering and harvesting crop is by far the ultimate stress relief. The rote nature of each day in Stardew Valley is comforting: get up at six, pet your pet, grab the stuff you need for the day and get out there. I still remember stepping out of my character’s ramshackle house for the first time. The realisation that I beholden to nobody but myself, is gratifying beyond words.

At the beginning, your character is given sizable amount of money to buy some seeds. Variety as they say, is the spice of life. Figuring out which vegetables and fruits give you the most profit, watching them grow as the season progress, is half the fun. Before that, you’ll be staring over the farmland you own, clearing the weeds, branches, stones, and obsessing over how to arrange your crop in an aesthetically pleasing manner. When the next season rolls around, you’d be itching to do the same thing again.

Then, there are the residents of Pelican Town. A smattering of personalities with hopes, wants and dreams, hidden till you get to know them better. Farming might be what you came for, but I feel like building relationships with everyone in town is what you ultimately stay for. I realised this after starting a new save on the Switch. I do enjoy the farming aspects, but the highlight of my current playthrough is getting to know the characters I fell in love with for the second time.

Farming ties in nicely with relationship building. Choosing to part with the harvest you toiled over is hard, but necessary. A rule of thumb is to plant more than you think you need, because gifting the residents with coral, clamshells, and flowers get old pretty fast. Though getting your first  ‘Ew, gross!’ can be discouraging and painful, through trial and error and determination to figure out the preferences of each character, getting your first ‘I love this!’ is one hell of a reward.

The underground mine slash dungeon is a nice place to mix things up if the monotony of farming or socializing sets in. Within the dank and decrepit dirt walls, dig for ores and fight your way through monsters of varying sliminess.  The presence of monsters ups the pressure, your energy meter isn’t infinite and overstretching can mean dying at the hands of a rogue bat, providing an enjoyable break from the cycle of plant-water-plant. Ores are important materials that can be smelted into copper, iron, gold bars to build new machines or upgrade tools.

Some may choose to concentrate on their farms during the first three seasons and tackle the dungeon during Winter, but staggering my visits made it feel more like a adventure than a mind numbing grind. The beauty of Stardew is that it gives you free rein. Do what you please, whenever you feel like it. Find the schedule that works best, and you’d enjoy yourself no matter what.

Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed my Stardew Valley experience on the Switch. If you own it on another platform and can’t get enough of it, like me, buying it again is a no brainer. The sensation of planting crops, talking to townsfolk, feeding your animals bales of hay, is somehow ten times sweeter when you’re en route to a destination with a Switch snug between your hands.

Early Access Preview: Dragon of Legends

Dragon of Legends is a 2D action RPG, set in the mythical Viking inspired world called Manheimr. Inspired by some of the greatest works of Norse and Celtic literature, the game invites you to unravel the mystery surrounding Ragnarok and send Loki’s horde back to hell, in beautifully imagined environments.

As of the current build of the game, there are three playable classes to choose from. Ranger, Warrior and Wizard. Each has their own background, and it’s quite interesting to read how they differ from one another. Dragon of Legends allows you to create up to five characters and delete them at your will. It gives you wiggle room to experiment with all three classes if you can’t decide on just one.

I created two characters to play around with, a Warrior and an Archer. I prefer melee combat to ranged, the thrill of getting up close and personal with things that can kill you, never gets old. No matter which class you choose, the game gives you free rein to build your character. Levelling up earns you points, which can be spent on character traits, strength or dexterity for example, or on skills. Skills in the game are separated into ‘Expertise’ and ‘Aptitude’.

Expertise, are skills you can use in combat, bound to hotkeys like the spacebar, left mouse button, and so on. Aptitude doubles as passive skills, giving you choices such as having a higher damage per hit, or a stronger defense.

The game combat needs more work before it can be enjoyable. Despite having a plethora of skills, there is a fair bit of levelling up to do before you can use them. With just basic attacks, fighting enemies gave me too much grief. If you spent all your points on attack and not defense, you’d die ridiculously quickly. Wolves and boars make quick work of you no matter which class you play. It’s a torturous cycle. You need to kill enemies to level up, but you’d usually die before you can kill them.

Something that comes with the territory of being an early access game, is the bugs. Dragon of Legends has some forgivable ones, but there are a few that really kill the experience. The first was starting up the game and being unable to select my character no matter how much I clicked. Closing the window and starting it again usually solves this.

The second most annoying bug was having a quest reset after I died. I’m not sure if this is a bug, but it certainly feels like one. There’s no merit to having a quest reset each time your character gets sent to Valhalla. For example, I need to kill five boars and five wolves. But it reverts to zero after dying. I don’t mind grinding in games, but I just feel cheated if it’s implemented like this.

The game has a lot of potential in its story and setting. The pixel art graphics is eye-catching and unique. Dragon of Legends offers some substantial content, but improvements need to be made before I can heartily recommend this game.

Defend the Homeland – Castle Crashers Review

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Your homeland is in grave peril! Your king needs your valiance! Take up your weapon and free the ladies of the land from the clutches of our sworn enemies! Destroy any that stand in the way of your might and valor! And look damn good while doing it!

Very little is needed to be said about the awesomeness of Castle Crashers, but sit down, we’re going to talk about it anyway! You are a knight whose sole duty is to repel the enemy and get your lady loves back, as they were kidnapped from the castle.

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While I will say that using the keyboard is not a good idea, using the controller is just as fluid as any other game you could ever find made from an AAA manufacturer. The controls are responsive, reliable and so very easy to learn by yourself. Still, it doesn’t care how easy it is to learn, the game still prompts you when you can use combos and what not while you play without stopping the game or halting your progress.

The colors and artwork are so very simple, but still beautiful to look at. The cartoony quality is charming and the humor matches it perfectly! While the humor can be a little juvenile at times, it still is worth noting that it can also be especially witty.

As for the difficulty, that’s probably the best part. It may not be considered extremely hard because there is a marvellous level up system that keeps the game progressing along with you, while not making the levels too easy for your character. There is no steep learning curve and you find yourself wanting to progress as long as you can! You’re not stopped between levels and forced to go to the map screen simply to select the next level on the list. No, you are simply brought to the map screen for the important decisions and crossroads.

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Combat! Smash your enemies’ faces in! No, seriously, you just push the buttons and dodge left to right, smashing your enemies to bits while you gain up levels, dodge and block their attacks, and kill them! It may sound repetitive, and in some ways it is, but it never feels stale because it’s always moving. You can’t really call this a pure beat’em up because it also has RPG elements, but it still feels like it belongs in the arcade where you can feed it a million quarters to keep it going.

That’s not the case, though. We are lucky enough to find this simple gem of an indie classic pretty much wherever games are sold for some pretty good prices. So, if you were looking for a beat’em up to relieve some stress, look no further! This will sate your hunger for blood and carnage! The boss battles will challenge you, but not to the level of absolute ragequit mode, you can learn their patterns and defeat them with your own skill, should ye be worthy!

Now go, hero! The homeland is counting on you! Slay thy enemies and drink thy water.

EnomView Score: 10 out of 10

Get the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/204360/Castle_Crashers/

World of Warcraft Player Speedruns to Level 60 By Only Killing Boars

In the speedrunning community, you can always find the strangest runs and attempts. These runs are often known as meme runs, and what is happening right now is just that, but with an amazing purpose. One player, Ian, also known as ianxplosion on Twitch is currently attempting to do a speedrun to reaching level 60 on World of Warcraft, but with a twist. He will do this by only killing boars. “My life sucks *** and I am going to kill some boars, and I want you guys to be there with me.”

A few days after AGDQ, one player joked that if the WOW patch 7.3.5 would arrive on January 16th, he would be leveling to level 60 by only killing boars. Blizzard inadvertently called his bluff and released the patch on said day. Ian, the guy who said this, decided to make good on his promise.

This is a clear callback to South Park’s “Make Love Not Warcraft” episode, where the group was continually killed by an impossibly high-level player. They had to hide in the forest, killing pigs in order to level up and fight back. However, this required a lot of time and is mind-numbing. It will take at least several days to reach level 60. As it looks like now, he is going to do this in segments, which is the smart choice to make here, considering this will be taking a lot of time.

While Ian originally planned to kill boars in Elwynn Forest like in the episode, the patch brought that plan to ruins. The patch added a scaling world and thus he can’t keep killing boars in that place, as he will end up getting no experience. The reason for this is that he got a mental breakdown recently, which resulted in him leaving his job and losing his girlfriend. He has lost motivation to do anything, and the last 3 weeks were hard on him. He is now trying to find himself again and has time on his hands. Those factors are his motivation for his journey.

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He isn’t figuring everything out on his own. People have planned to help him by doing various things. Fellow players routed the entire run for him, so he’d know where to go to get efficient boar leveling going. Others said they were going to donate to mental illness charities if he really goes on with this. Since a lot of people are excited about this, he plans to use this run to try and find his own happiness. Ian placed the donation link for the National Alliance of Mental Illness on his Twitch. If you want to donate to his cause, he prefers that you donate to them.

At this moment of writing, he has completed two days of boar slaying already. The first day it took him over 11 hours to reach level 17 and a half. He killed 1534 boars to reach this level. The second day he finished at level 20 after 8 hours and 55 minutes. We expect it will last more than a week before he reaches the desired level. All we can do is hope he won’t give up before he reaches his goal, and maybe, we’ll be seeing more crazy things happen in the speedrun community.

If you want to follow his attempts, we recommend you to visit his twitch.

5 Reasons Why They Are Billions Is So Addictive

Featuring more empty, hungry husks of people than a city centre takeaway on a Saturday night, They Are Billions has swept across Steam like the infection afflicting its billions of in-game villains. What is it that makes the game so addictive? Let’s take a look at a few reasons below…

1. Difficulty Level: Insanity

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Everyone loves a challenge, and in They Are Billions, gamers have found a doozy. Strategy gamers, in particular, seem to be gluttons for punishment, seeking more and more of a tactical trial; and keeping your colony free from infection is one of the toughest in recent memory.

Just one zombie can be the catalyst for bringing the base you’ve worked on for hours to come crashing down. And when there are billions of the blighters running around, one slip can be all it takes to see the plague infecting all of your colonists, and the dreaded game over screen.

Add to that the feeling of triumphant satisfaction when you finally win, and it’s a recipe to keep gamers trying to reach that ultimate goal. After all, the more difficult the battle, the sweeter the victory…

2. Dem Graphics

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While zombies and steampunk are popular (and arguably, overused) choices for games, doing them both together is a winning combination in the case of They Are Billions.

Steampunk, when done well, is a striking and engaging graphic style that has served well titles like 80 Days, Bioshock Infinite and Dishonored, while zombies provide a universally recognised menace that almost anyone can immediately engage with.

Add to that the post-apocalyptic setting and you’re left with an absolutely gorgeous retro-style aesthetic, with vibrantly coloured human settlements holding fast against the endless waves of grey undead flesh.

3. Made Like They Don’t Make Them Anymore

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As many people over a certain age might tell you, the past holds examples of superior craftsmanship and style that have faded away with the inevitable progression of time.

In this instance, I am one of those people – RTS games never seem to be as engaging as I remember, with classic genre titles like Age of Empires II or Command & Conquer holding special places in my heart from my younger days.

As such it’s easy to see how They Are Billions captures the imagination of gamers like me, with its old-school RTS play style that embodies the best of those classics and updates them into the future. Sure, there are a few niggles like the patrol pathway system, but it is still in Early Access, remember…

4. Doom is Inevitable, Why Rush?

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Sometimes games fall into the “bigger and better” trap, where the solution to innovation is making things larger, faster or more complex.

In the case of They Are Billions, it’s almost as if the design process has taken a step back, and bucks the trend of trying to make games that require the reflexes of an alert cat and memorising twenty different hotkeys to play well.

With its pause system, the game encourages players to take as much time as they need to make decisions, plan a strategy, issue orders, and still end up watching your colony fall to the undead hordes. But at least you thought about it first, right?

5. Higher Stakes Than A Vegas Casino

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Despite the apparent safety net that the pause system affords, it’s really easy to forget that one tiny slip up can mean endgame for your colony.

In an era where loading up from a less perilous time when the going gets tough is commonplace, the ruthlessness of They Are Billions’ save state system forces gamers to really pay attention, even being impervious to alt+F4 rage quitting.

Knowing that at any moment, one teeny tiny zombie could infect your whole colony within seconds really raises the stakes – especially when failure means having to start again from square one.

Did we forget any? Post the things you love or hate in the comments. And check out EnomView’s review of They Are Billions here!

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Exploding Rodents – Tooth and Tail Review

It’s time to rally your troops! We need a fighting force. A team of soldiers that know how to use their weapons and defend the base. They need to be fed, so it’s time to farm up some resources to suit their needs. We’ll need proper defenses and the leadership needs to know how to bring it all together to take the fight to the enemy! We’ll need all of the ferrets and rodents we can gather, and don’t forget the warthogs!

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Yeah, you’re using animals to fight a war full of pistols, mortar cannons, and strategic structure building. Sounds normal to me, what’s your deal?

“Tooth and Tail” is a real-time strategy game that is very reminiscent of the Red Wall Book series by Brian Jacques. The artwork for the game is quite beautiful, and the graphics are nothing special, but they do work for the game quite well. The gameplay is quite simple and very fast-pace. As soon as you start the game, you are treated to quite the simple tutorial that goes smoothly and easily without over-explaining anything. Given the fact that there have been so many tutorials out there that grate against your face like a brick full of holes and interrupt your gameplay constantly, it is worth taking the time to appreciate these pregame sessions that do it right.

Compared to the normal RTS, this one is pretty simple. It has its high points, and simplicity is definitely one of them. One thing that this does entail, however, is that the gameplay is extremely fast-paced. Sometimes a little too fast-paced. There are levels where the enemy comes at you with a decent attack every so often, then there’s a stage where the opposing team will charge you with copious amounts of suicide bombers one after the other. There comes a time where kamikaze attacks just cannot be repelled. Your troops and defenses can only shield you against so many explosions. These stages get especially frustrating, and just downright impossible.

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Unlike your normal strategy army games, this one has you controlling a single unit that acts as a commander for the rest of the troops. The controls are extremely simple, and the tutorial captures that simplicity very well. However, the vulnerability that this presents is concerning, as it means that a single wrong move could kill your leader at any point. Still, on the flipside, it’s a good bit of challenge overall and adds the need to maneuver your character to the list of unique mechanics. It keeps you actively involved, as keeping your protagonist safe is imperative.

Still, despite its shortcomings, this game is highly addictive. Like any good army building game, you want to push your army as far as it can go. The battle sequences are satisfying in their simplicity and you will relish each victory as your furry friends take down more savagely cute animals. As you may have noticed, if you’re an animal enthusiast, this may not be the game for you.

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As stories go, it’s kind of lacking, but at the same time, it doesn’t get in the way of the enjoyment of the overall game. There are times when the game can be mercilessly cruel and unfair, but it is a lot of fun, especially if you are a fan of strategy games. Be sure to give it a look!

Enomview Rating: 8/10

AGDQ 2018 – Day Five!

Yume here, and we already got to day 5 of this years AGDQ.

As I had a non-existent amount of sleep, the coverage on tournaments will cut a bit short for once, but we’ll still talk puzzles for a bit.

But yeah, there’s a reason why the night was short and I had to sleep into the day. It was time for Awful Games Done Quick.

It is a kind of tradition where games with controls that are close to unplayable, or just really silly games, are shown in this block. It’s been a standing tradition over the last few GDQ events.

This year, the Awful GDQ could also be called “Animal Games Done Quick”, except for some games like Superman 64. Yeah, there are people that speedrun Superman 64.

Let’s go over some of the games though. And if you want to have a really silly and fun time with bad games, you should certainly watch and even play them at some point. The crowd is a big part of this as well. If you want to go over and watch the videos, the block started with Superman 64.

The first game I witnessed in the streaming room was the end portion of Arabian Nights. All I can say about this title is that it’s not really Rated-E and the dialogues are really silly.

After that, was the first game I saw entirely, Enviro-Bear 2000. Five speedrunners were chosen by the people that donate to the cause. The game’s graphics were made in MS Paint, and I’m not talking about the good version of it. You’re a bear that drives a car and has to eat fish and berries in a given amount of time to survive through the winter and enter your cave. “Eat the fish” and “To the cave” chants went through the crowd at appropriate times and made it a spectacle for everybody in the room. The atmosphere was awesome.

Following that, Dog’s Life was on stream. Standard setup: you’re a dog and your girlfriend was kidnapped by a cat lady to be processed into cat food. To be fair, this happens to me at least once a week. The game is rated E (3 years and older) but the dialogues and some cutscenes in the game are, well, questionable (for that rating to say the least). And as the first skip didn’t work as fast as expected, the dog we played was washed enough times so that fur and hide would have been gone. Also a great time and the runner made it a real blast to watch.

The last run I saw at the venue was Animorphs: Shattered Reality. It is a platformer with some kind of battle interaction that mainly consists of running into your enemy to deal damage and trying to not run into their attacks. The controls of the platforming sections were described by the runner Keizaron as this: “Take a Crash Bandicoot game and strip it off everything Crash Bandicoot does well and you have this game”. As a viewer, I have to say it couldn’t be more precise by what I saw. I also had a great time with watching this run, and it certainly deserved to be in this blog.

Next up, we head to the tournaments. Sadly, I slept in for the Puyo Puyo Tetris Swap tourney, where I saw a chance to be somewhat decent in. I caught some of the final rounds and the competition wasn’t really bad. But as a more or less all-rounder, this would have been my best shot at scoring a good placement today. For the ones who don’t know much about Puyo Puyo Tetris, Swap mode is where you play both games, Tetris and Puyo, in the same game. You have specific playing fields for each game and you play for 25 seconds on one game and change to the other until a winner is decided. The finals had some twist to it, PiePusher11 won the tournament. I’ll cover the twist in tomorrow’s article.

Right after that, the dedicated Puyo Puyo tourney took place where we played only Puyo from PPT. I kinda had bad luck with the bracket and got to play FFRPro21 right off the bat, and gave him a run for the money, but still couldn’t defeat him. In the losers bracket, I played against the organiser of the Puyo only tournament, HarpoonCanon, and tried to get around him with good tactics as I don’t hold a candle to him skill-wise. I can say I won 1 out of 5 games against him and gave him some problems, but I never stood a chance to win.

Also shoutouts to the Puyo Puyo Tetris community as a whole. They are a really nice and welcoming people. Be it speedrunners or online players of the game. Mainly, the respectful attitude towards others like me that are likely not the best players, but still give some top players a hard time.

And then I made the worst decision of this AGDQ, tournament-wise. I skipped the Rocket League tourney and instead tried out the Yoshi’s Cookie for SNES one. NEVER…EVER…AGAIN. I want to say I’m decent at the stage clear mode, but versus is not something up my alley. Heck, I tend to be a loud person and curse sometimes, and I could keep it together even in the Pokémon Puzzle League tournament, but this game has the potential to make me lose myself within 5 minutes of Versus mode. I have to admit that the players I lost against had more skill and more knowledge about the versus mode than I had, so there’s simply no need to go further into specifics or hate the game at all.

Well, that’s it for the tournaments that I had an eye on for today.

As for closing words. some communities hold workshops to teach other people some games or techniques to help them get better at designated games. And even I got some private lessons from a person I look up to:

Blinzer, the winner of the Pokemon Puzzle League versus tournament, taught me some techniques and it fried my brain and thumbs. His playstyle and the marathon mode (High score game) were too much for me. The training was a really nice treat from him though and is very much appreciated. In a mere hour, I learned a lot about the basic skills that I still lack as a player that’s only been playing for a year. I could double my speed for inputs in this short time to get it consistently, over what I’m used to. Hence, my thumbs didn’t appreciate it as much as I did.

This is also one of the reasons why these meetups are a very nice event to attend. People help each other understand the games better and show them skills they don’t have right now. It is good to see that people inside a community care for each other and try to help them in person when they finally meet.

Guess I’m signing off for today to get some decent amount of sleep again. A Link to the Past randomizer race coming up tomorrow with a short interview with one of the participants, as I won’t take part in it myself.

Have a great day!

Heres Day Six with some closing costs!

Silence Falls – Cobalt WASD Review

 

The problem with making a game that relies on a multiplayer community, is that as soon as people stop playing it, it basically becomes redundant. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with the otherwise fun Cobalt WASD, developed by Oxeye Game Studio and published by Mojang of Minecraft fame.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Cobalt, also developed by Oxeye, was released about 18 months earlier.

Cobalt WASD starts off promisingly enough, with two teams of cute little avatars rushing around a multitude of arena maps trying to plant bombs in each other’s territory. If you’re imagining a hybrid of Counter-Strike and Worms, you’re not far from reality.

There are a few different items on sale; ranged and melee weapons, and different suits of armour that endow different abilities, like a stealth suit that allows your avatar to turn invisible. You start off with an initial amount of currency, and after victorious rounds, you earn more cash (and less after defeats) to change your arsenal.

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After a few rounds playing with bots, it slowly dawns on you that it’s such a shame that the online community for Cobalt WASD doesn’t seem to have taken off. It’s like wandering alone around a deserted amusement park; lots of the rides look like great fun, but the total lack of people makes it a bit of a soulless experience.

The other strange thing about Cobalt WASD is the decision to release it as a separate game. It would seem like a much better idea to introduce it as a game mode to its parent game, Cobalt, rather than fragmenting the player base into two different games.

Admittedly the game mechanics for each are totally different, and this perhaps has led to the introduction of the separate title; there was feedback about Cobalt that players missed the “mouse+WASD” method of other titles.

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That said, there is some mileage playing with the bots in single player, which have a satisfying amount of range in difficulty settings. And there are a variety of different maps to play on, each of which looks stunning in the retro, pixelated graphics style.

I especially enjoyed how each of them tells a story about why each side is trying to blow it up; for example, “Boulevard”, which depicts a feud between rival hipster bars; and “Hotel”, where both sides are disgruntled guests leaving pseudo-Trip Adviser reviews about their poor stay.

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It’s a good title to have a quick blast of, put down and then come back to later; there’s enough variety to engage for a few rounds and provide a bit of diversion. But unfortunately, it does all come back around to the fact that, at its core, Cobalt WASD is a multiplayer game that apparently doesn’t have any players.

Of course, you can host private matches and play with friends. But as of writing, I waited for over 10 minutes to find a public match with no joy; browsing the hosted servers reveal player counts of zero. Silence has fallen on what could be a fun title, if only there was a community there to support it.

EnomView Score: 5 out of 10

Indie Game Award Finalists Include “Cuphead” and “Night in the Woods.”

The Independent Games Festival revealed their finalists for the 2018 indie gaming awards. The award can go to Infinite Falls’ “Night in the woods” or StudioMDHR’s “Cuphead.” With both games being highly praised, it is a tough choice.

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“Night in the woods” is up for Seumas McNally award as well as many awards for its art and visual aesthetics.

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“Cuphead” is up there for audiovisual awards and an honorable mention for the grand prize.

Other games such as Bennett Foddy’s “Getting over it”, were good choices, but none can compare to “Cuphead” and its one million copies sold. Also, backed by Microsoft, “Cuphead” is a juggernaut of an indie game. The award will be given out on March 21st, 2018. Tune in to EnomView.com often or our Enomview Youtube channel for more news like this!