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.
Hotline Miami has received a lot of attention lately for being somewhat of an indie darling on the PC and with the game gearing up for a PSN release, we figured now is a good time for the AO crew to dig into the game and give you our two cents on the bloody romp through 1980′s Miami. Please enjoy.
If Xbox Live Indie Games was Santa and I was a prospective present recipient, you’d think I would have been judged ‘naughty’ with all the coal I’ve received this year. Suffice to say, 2012 hasn’t been a banner year for the service. But after playing Bleed, it might have all been worth it. Bootdisk Revolution has put together something truly special and any gamer with a love for the classics would be remiss to pass it up.
The objective in Bleed is simple: Defeat the world’s best heroes to become the newest member of the Hall of Heroes. Your quest takes you through the home bases of each of the world’s six champions, plus one final stage afterward. Each one has a theme that matches the style of its owner. The extravagant and creepy mansion belongs to the gelatinous slime ball with the googly eyes and fly wings. The security-intensive high rise houses the defense robot with a penchant for homing missiles. Read more
It’s rare to find a game that seems like it tried to work in literally every idea discussed during brainstorming, but Arkedo’s Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit feels like a shining example of that phenomenon. The production value is high, tons of effort went into the writing and the gameplay is relatively unique. But in bringing so many individual elements together, the game as a whole somehow manages to be nearly devoid of fun.
Things are as off-the-wall as they can be in Hell Yeah. You’re the Prince of Hell — a dead rabbit who rides around in a saw-blade hovercraft — and your mission is to recover scandalous pictures of you and your rubber duck, which would somehow undermine the validity of your claim to the throne. Or something like that. The unapologetically random nature of the game’s core concept extends to everything else in the game, from enemy design to level settings, so don’t expect fire and brimstone here — Dante’s vision this is not. There are casinos, futuristic dance clubs and what can only be described as Jerry Garcia’s wet dream, among a bunch of other areas. The game’s spastic, sugar-coated ADD-inducing presentation might appeal to high school students who spend their parents’ money at Hot Topic, but it’s truthfully nothing more than a bunch of incoherent nonsense that’s random for the sake of being random. Read more
Genres within gaming can see parallels to food at a feast. One dish may find itself more appetizing to one individual’s taste than another, but there is always that temptation to taste what is outside of your comfort zone. For many, adventure games fall into this category. The slow, methodical gameplay and often deep storylines are seen as a crux in a world where military shooters reign king and action-heavy MMOs grasp the attention of millions. On occasion, however, one dish comes along that makes us want to extend our palette and taste outside of familiarity.
Those who are concerned with the connotation of adventure games being overly difficult can find solace in this fact: Resonance gently ramps up the challenge and slowly introduces gameplay mechanics at a speed which allows you to fully grasp what the game is capable off before letting you go on your own. You initially play as one of four characters, one at a time, before being granted the ability to seamlessly transition between two characters in the same scene in later stages. Once the prologue is complete the world is your oyster: All four characters are at your disposal at all times, and each are necessary to advance the plot as they may hold a bit of information that the others do not possess. Read more