Modern games today have become obsessed with accessibility: Littered with tutorial prompts, guiding arrows dictating where to go, and the current objective jarringly flashing on screen. La-Mulana looks to jump back a few generations when these trends weren’t the norm.
Initially designed to imitate the look and feel of games on the old MSX systems, this remake has enhanced the color pallet and sprite resolutions from the original Japanese version (released in 2005) while keeping the old retro-style difficulty intact. Starting a new game throws you right into La-Mulana’s two-dimensional open world with no indication of where to go and little back story on the main character Lemenza, besides the notion that he’s prepared to explore the ruins of La-Mulana. From the beginning it’s emphasized that it’s up to Lemenza to explore and scrutinize the surrounding areas for clues on how to progress. It creates an experience that may be intimidating for some, while other experienced and patient gamers looking for a challenge will find it refreshing.
One could accurately sum up La-Mulana as a puzzle adventure-platformer, and it wonderfully blends the genres together. While Lemenza is able to explore a good portion of the ruins initially, certain paths only become accessible as various power-ups and other items are obtained via solving puzzles or defeating bosses. The puzzles aren’t presented in any particular way, but rather are integrated seamlessly into parts of the ruins. Practically every interconnected screen the player travels through has some secret to be unearthed once a section of the ruin is solved. Read more
I have taken many adventures through a screen, from battling through the lands of Hyrule, having discussions with the people of Midgar, trudging through the swamps of Sanctuary, and flying the skies of Veldt. Two-dimensional pixelated sprites, 3D polygons, monochrome greys, 8-bit colors, luscious spectrums and more can describe the eyes that I’ve seen many of these exploits through. If you take the memories of these feats and add in some subdued humor, then you’re on the right track for what Evoland has to offer.
In my first moment into Evoland, I was dropped into a greyscale land and stripped of any interaction other than moving right ’til I hit a treasure chest. This unlocked left movement and revealed the game’s main mechanic, which should be somewhat familiar if you have played DLC Quest. As you open a majority of the chests throughout the game, they will unlock new features that changs the playing field. These features vary from cosmetic changes like higher color counts, to new mechanics, or even completely new sub-genres within the adventure/RPG formula. Read more
Armless Octopus puts yet another match-three game through the wringer to see if anything decent will come out the other side. This time it’s Dungeon Hearts for the PC via Steam. The game only costs $3, but is it worth your TIME? You’ll just have to watch and see.
Sony’s Playstation Vita, despite having a number of excellent titles available for it, often doesn’t get the respect it deserves. This theme carries true for the protagonist of Drinkbox Studios’ latest Vita offering, Guacamelee,. Juan Aguacate is a down on his luck man who is befallen with the task of becoming the ultimate luchador in order to save the world. An Evil Charro Skeleton is the catalyst behind this event, as El Presidente’s daughter is kidnapped by the mad man apparition.
You may already be well acquainted with Guacamelee as it was one of the first games support by Sony’s Indie Pub Fund. Additionally, it’s one of the few titles to take advantage of Sony’s cross-play compatibility, wherein players can not only transfer their saves across both their Playstation 3 and Vita, but also play with
The Vita screen can also double as a secondary screen, when playing on the PS3. PS Nation does an excellent job of illustrating exactly how to set this up, which allows players to have their in-game map appear on the Vita, and all gameplay occurring on the television screen.
Bugs. People hate them. The theory is that the circle of life would unravel completely without them providing one of the lowest ends of the food chain, but most folks can’t resist the urge to smash them on sight. Some go so far as to say they would eliminate them for good if they could. An opportunity to do just that, at least digitally, came up way back in the 80s with Centipede but it didn’t last. In fact, bugs are still one of the most common video game enemies around, coming in just behind zombies, red barrels and ‘terrorists’. Now the bugs are invading again, this time through Microsoft’s Xbox Live Indie Games service in Fun Infused Games’ Bad Caterpillar, a modernization of Atari’s classic hundred-legged game.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: Bad Caterpillar does nothing to hide its inspiration. If you’ve ever played, nay, even seenCentipede then you’re familiar with what this game has to offer. As with most shooters it’s you and you alone against an entire army of enemies, so don’t expect any back up, soldier. Grip that trigger and let the bullets fly. The game’s titular enemy descends from the top of the level and it’s your duty to blow each and every segment of its body to Kingdom Come, lest you explode at its mere touch. You move onto the next level once you’ve successfully smashed each and every thorax. Read more
Let’s take a moment and pretend that it’s the 1980′s and arcades aren’t just a relic of a lost generation. Now, imagine you’re in charge of one such arcade. Sound like fun? You’ll just have to watch the video review and find out if the XBLIG title “Arcadecraft” is a thriller, or just a broken heart of glass.
The king is dead. That’s how Nostatic’s newest Xbox Live Indie Game Ascent of Kings starts out. It’s a somber beginning what is otherwise a breezy and carefree exploratory platformer. Your quest to become the new king is a fun, albeit short one despite this.
The journey begins much to the chagrin of your father, who believes you to be too young to handle the rigors ahead. Youthful confidence prevails and you set out on a quest for kinghood in the footsteps of your recently-journey-bound brothers. Each of your kin was equipped with a special item to help them with the road ahead. While you have none to start with, you’ll eventually acquire them all. It’s a good thing, too, since you’ll need them to reach your destination. Read more