Friday, May 29, 2020

"Drake Hollow Preview"


"Drake Hollow Preview"
Previewed by: Carless Yen
Developer: The Molasses Flood
Release Date: July 17th 2020
Price: Game Pass on Launch

I hate to praise a game as much as I am about to do with "Drake Hollow" while it is still in Beta because you don't know what changes will be made by launch, but I'm going to. I just really had a hard time putting this game down long enough to do a video and written review for it. I say the first thing I do after putting this across all of our social medias will be grabbing my controller and heading back to the Hollow to protect my Drakes. To bad it hasn't launched yet because i'd love to have some of my buddies jump in and play with me. Oh well July will be here before you know it, and I'm sure to still be playing this adorable little game still at launch. I hope a lot of you are as well, because i'd love to see this one do well. It really deserves to. It is just so beautifully developed and fun that I'm hoping to hear tons of success for it.
    You start out creating your own character and the customization is really in depth. The art style really reminds me of Fortnite. I'm not a huge fan of Fortnite. but Drake Hollow is another story. I love how it looks, and I especially love the sounds. The cute sounds the Drakes make, to the vicious roars of the enemies you come across in the Hollow. Maybe even more than that the beautiful soundtrack. I really, really enjoyed the music in this game. It is so relaxing and beautiful, and ramps up perfectly during attacks and other dangerous situations you find yourself in. You wonder across different Islands in search of Drakes and resources to take care of the Drakes you find. They all return to your camp upon discovery, and must be cared for there. They need the essentials food, water, and fun. They can even die from boredom, so you have to keep a eye out on your meter to know what they need. Make sure gardens are growing and have a full stock of berries. Make sure you have working wells or plenty of juice boxes. Make sure they have plenty of Puppets for puppet shows , or Yoga balls to bounce on. It is just a blast to sit and watch them love all the things you give them. They are so cute, and I can sit and watch them hug puppets for hours. Don't get to comfy though because those evil creatures you run into in the wild of the Hollow will also attack your base.
    There will be a timer letting you know they are coming though. So you must plan out your resource gathering and get back in time for the attack. there will be a set amount of enemies you must destroy. They will drop items as well as crystals you can use to level up your Drakes. The Drakes will grow in size and experience, but still stay just as adorable. When they grow up it also goes to your camp XP as well. You can level them both up, and build items to protect your Drakes during these attacks.Put up fences and even weapons to fight off attacks. It all isn't just violence though at camp, you will need to build treadmills and such to generate power to run certain things like upgraded work benches. You will love admiring and watching your camp grow as it levels up. You will also need resources that you just can't find on your own little island so you will have to wander out into the world to find them. Yes there is a bird there that will trade you shiny things for items, but you still will have to journey out to the other islands.
   The many islands are surrounded by creepy dark waters, that you must create a item with your crystals to evaporate the water around you for a certain amount of time to cross between each area, When the timer runs out you have to use another item or hurry through it. If you stay in it to long you will die, and be taken back to camp. Don't worry these crystals are super hard to find, and after you discover the islands you can make a way point that allows you to travel across it, and even have resources travel across it as well. So you find a truck full of something you need a lot of, you can connect it to the way point and watch it travel back to camp on it's own. You have to clear off the islands first though. Each are about a square mile, and are loaded with infestations and nests you must destroy. Basic little briarpatch looking things you can melee away. Once you do it will tell you how many more remain. Some will be hard to find though. The are will be loaded with enemies as well. You never know what you will face so its good to bring a lot of health, and some times even one of the items that fast travel you back to camp. Out on the Islands you won't find only just resources and enemies there are plenty of secrets and other characters as well. We won't spoil that for you though.
So it's a long time until July, and I feel sorry for those who have to wait to play this awesome little title. Trust me though it is certainly worth your wait. It just feels really unique and plays so flawlessly. I know a lot of others besides just myself are really going to enjoy this one. If you plan on grabbing it let us know. Love to have some people to explore the hollow with. Until then though let me get back to my Drakes. I'm sure they miss me as much as I miss them. They are constantly giving me little gifts to let me know how much they love me.
Pros:
Adorable and Addictive Fun
Beautiful, Beautiful Music
Runs Really Well and Smooth Controls
Online COOP
Cons:
I have no one to play it with yet.

Overall: 9.2
I hate scoring games this early you never know what will change, but I love Drake Hollow's Beta product. If this game is anything like this at launch i think Molasses Flood as a hit on their hands. I really can't wait for this to hit Game Pass , to play with some of my gaming buddies.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

"Awesome Pea 2"


"Awesome Pea 2"
Reviewed by: Carless Yen
Platform: XBOX, PC, Switch, PS4
Publisher: SometimesYou
Developer: Pigeondev
Release Date: 6/3/2020
Price: 4.99
Awesome Pea 2 is one of those rare titles where the sequel is actually better than the original. The game meets you quite early with a nice level of challenge. Sure you can just beat the levels and move on to the next, but where is the fun in that? You really must collect all the treasures, and get your 100% completion. If you want the Achievements that is the goal. there are Achievements for beating each level with 100% treasure collection, that actually makes up the entire list. Each one you 100% you will be rewarded, so you know that is what you are going to do.Is that enough though? You know there should be more ways to spend your treasures in my opinion. Maybe some cool hats for your pea would have added a little cosmetic treat I think. I kind of wish there would have been a easy mode as well where if you collect a coin it counts. I think these $4.99 titles a lot of gamers just buy for the easy Achievements , and that would have opened up a market and maybe helped sell a few more copies. Awesome Pea is not a easy 100% completion , and that will turn away this market, Could have made normal or hard mode with this same challenge for the people like myself who love to grind a game. The people who enjoy getting the most time and fun out of a game. Both fan types could have been covered with this simple adjustment. There is still time before this games release so maybe they see this and factor that in.
        
      The entire game is so retro. It really has that gameboy look and feel. A lot of people will enjoy this aspect, but some will not. I think you know what to expect if you are playing this though. More than likely you played the first, and know what the developer had in mind for you. as far as developing I think they killed it with this one. It looks great and feels great. The controls are smooth and precise. I never experienced a single issue with this title. If i hit the jump button I jumped it's just that simple. It plays perfectly, and that is important because this game is loaded with traps and obstacles. I'm not joking about a challenge. If you want that 100% you are going to be grinding some levels over and over. So it can feel repetitive at times. I recommend playing it in doses instead of trying to do it all at once your first play through. I can also see this game being popular with speed runners as every level is timed. I could see many of them learning new patterns to collect and exit the levels at record times. I could see this being exciting to watch as well.

       Notice I said looked and played well and not sounded well. I hate to be that guy, but some of the soundtrack was annoying and loud. I found myself muting it a lot of the time. It wasn't bad don't get me wrong there were just moments in the songs that were distorted. I think they were trying to capture old PC sounds, and it turned out really harsh on the ears. I loved the music besides these moments it gave me a real retro feeling. I felt I was playing a missed title on the Gameboy collection at times. Then some annoying distorted parts would appear in the soundtrack, and really kind of make me want to turn the sound off. It was by no means a game killer though. The positives of this title far out weigh the negatives. I highly recommend this if you enjoyed the first one. I think this one leaps and bounds better than the original installment even with a few minor flaws. You are going to spend hours trying to 100% this game, and you won't regret it at all.

Pros:
Classic Game Boy look and feel
Challenging
Cool main character
Spot on controls
Really well designed levels
Cons:
Music can get annoying and distorted
Can be repetitive
Missed a market of Gamers the Achievement Hunters

Overall: 7.0
Awesome Pea 2 is one of those games that is developed really well, and actually out shines the first installment. If your looking for a real Challenge and a lot of content at a cheap price this is a can't miss. If you see 4.99 and think easy Achievements you will certainly be wrong this is a repetitive grind to capture those Achievements.
Video review below:

Saturday, May 9, 2020

"Infinite:Beyond the Mind"


"Infinite:Beyond the Mind"
Reviewed By: Carless Yen
Published By: Blowfish Studios
Developed By:Emilie COYO
Release Date: 5/7/2020
Platforms: XBOX, PC, PS4, Switch
Price: 9.99
Raised on battlefields in a world devastated by war, two women who share a bond over their special powers fall under the watchful eye of the tyrannical Beljantaur Kingdom. When one is abducted by Queen Evangelyn and her heavily armed forces, the other must spring into action and rescue her friend from captivity by any means necessary. You can play this COOP or alone, and either way you are going to have a blast in my opinion. You battle your way through 16 2D side-scrolling stages loaded with tons of different enemy types and military vehicles. Waves upon waves of gun toting enemies with different skills and weapons. Enemies in Camo that are hard to see, ones that can disappear, some that chuck grenades at you, some with shotguns and so much more. You will even be attacked by trucks, planes, and choppers. Some times there is so much going on the screen you might just lose yourself.

It almost has that Ninja Gaiden feel as you chop your way through all the baddies. Smooth controls that are so precise as you double jump, dash, and even wall bounce. The movement is so fluid and I never experienced any issues or glitches. I was surprised with all that is going on at once on the screen the game held up perfectly. Not only did it play perfect , but it looked perfect as well. I haven't seen Pixel art this beautiful in some time. The backgrounds are some of the best I've seen ever maybe. I was just blown away by the beautiful backdrops, and couldn't wait to see the next level. There are 16 different ones so you certainly get more than you'd expect. Every one of them is unique and different then the next. I said the game had that Ninja Gaiden or Strider feel as game play, but the platforming and look really gave me a Contra or Rush'N Attack vibe. That is in some good company in comparisons I know, but I think it really holds it own even against those. I feel like this would have been a huge hit back then on the classic consoles, so It's a most own Modern Retro game. i think if you love these type of games it just has to be in your collection. I'd put it up there with Modern retro the likes of Monster Boy or Shantae. It's really top quality development and might be Blowfish Studios best developed release yet. They've had a lot of good games, but this one is in that GREAT category.

The music is also top notch, and feels truly classic. Defense Mechanism did an amazing job at making this game feel retro. The music really blends well with all the nonstop action you see on screen. The sounds were also really high quality. The guns, the vehicles, and everything else just sounded so clear and retro. I think this is going to be one of those games when people come back to this Gen and stream or speed run retros it will be one of the ones covered by most of those genre of gamers. I think it would be enjoyable to watch them do so as well.

The Achievements aren't super easy for this one. It will require multiple plays. There are some for not killing enemies, and some for killing a lot of enemies, some for beating the game on Coop and the different skill levels. There is also multiple endings. So the replay value is certainly there. Without those Achievements though I see you going back to this one just because it's so much fun to play. Rather you are playing by yourself or with a friend it's just a really addictive game that is hard to step away from. I actually want to end my review now so I can go play it some more. I hope some of you reading this decide to pick it up. If you do certainly hit me up and let me know what you thought of it.

Pros:
Action Packed
Solo or COOP still fun as Hell
Beautiful Pixel Art
Excellent Soundtrack
Tons of Replay Value
EPIC Boss Battles
High quality development and Platforming
Smooth Controls
Challenging
Cons:
Wish it was longer, and I had more time to lay it
Maybe to Addictive. I see the sun coming up out side.

Overall 8.8
A must own for modern retro gaming fans. One of those games that really catch you by surprise, and you can't wait to tell your friends about it and play it with them. Excellent development, as good as many of the classics like it in the past. I'd say it might even be better then some of those. Don't miss out on this one.

Friday, May 8, 2020

"Zombies Ruined My Day"


"Zombies Ruined My Day"
Reviewed By: Carless Yen
Platform: XBox One X
Developer: Mancebo Games
Publisher: Rendercode Games
Release Date: 5/6/2020
Price: 3.99

Bored and stuck in your home Quarantined? Wishing you could kill some Zombies, but have less than five dollars in your bank account? Well head on over to the Microsoft store and grab this little exclusive. You know you love killing zombies. "Zombies Ruined My Day" is non stop zombie killing. It has 27 levels of action packed shooting over three different areas. A Office building, a rooftop, and a Carnival. After you kill waves and waves of zombies you get to take out a unique boss to advance to the next area. The bosses are all hilariously designed to challenge you as well as make you laugh,from crazy clowns to giant worms. There are also six different zombies as well. They all attack in different styles, and even drop certain things to aid in your survival. You have common zombies, military ones that drop ammo, construction ones that drop barriers, even punk rock ones that bounce around. You never really know what to expect in your first play through. The different types can make it really challenging, but not to the point where you want to throw in the towel. There is also continues so you can fail over and over, and not really be punished for it.

I love the cartoon look of the zombies and the protagonist. The level is small just one background for the three zones, but they are all cute looking. I wish there would have been more though. Yes I guess it gives you the same area to learn to set up your plan and defenses, but it also can feel really repetitive as well if you play in one set play through. I recommend playing it in small doses. Playing through 10 or more waves of the same area with the same enemies can just feel like your running in place at times. I think more changes in scenery and even more zombie types would have helped a lot with this. Maybe the next installment will give us more of this. Don't take that the wrong way though. It is a lot of fun for 3.99, and you get a lot for that price point, but it's still a lot of the same thing over and over.

There is a market out there on XBOX for Achievement hunters. We can't forget those guys. There are thousands of people out there looking for those games under 5 dollars to pad their gamer scores. "Zombies Ruined My Day" fits into that genre. All of the Achievements are either killing a certain amount of enemies with one shot, or beating levels on certain difficulty settings. I think there is 12 Achievements, and they are fairly easy to grab. So for all you Achievement hunters here is another to add to that growing collection of quick complete games to your stats.

So you thinking about grabbing this yet? Have we convinced you how much fun there is to be had? Okay what if we talk weapons? There are eight different types. You have a unlimited ammo Pistol, Uzi, Shotgun, Rocket Launcher, and many more. You can just blast away waves and waves of zombies for hours at less of the price of a value meal at your favorite fast food place. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. How about you? Letting Zombies Ruin Your Day or leaving that to the Corona Virus News on your TV and Social media?

Pros:
Cheap Affordable Fun
The Controls are Smooth
Weapons are Fun so is blowing Shit up
Easy Achievements, but a little Basic and Boring
Cute looking Backgrounds and Zombies
Rad very large Bosses
Cons:
Can feel Repetitive
Needs more Backgrounds
Needs More Zombie Types

Overall: 7.0
Zombies Ruined My Day won't ruin yours.Cheap and easy way to pad your gamer score stats while filling hours with fun. I think you will be glad you found it at such an affordable price., but try to limit how long you Indulge in it because there is a chance of feeling the strain of repetitiveness.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

"Fury Unleashed"


"Fury Unleashed"
Reviewed By: Carless Yen
Developer: Awesome Games Studio
Release Date: 05/08/2020
Platforms: Steam, Xbox, Switch, PS4
Price: 19.99
Do you enjoy Rogue like games? Games like Dead Cells that encourage gaming in one setting with spiked difficulty levels. Or maybe you enjoy gaming with friends, with action packed combat like you'd find in Contra or Metal Slug. Then you are going to love Fury Unleashed. I've had it a few days now, and I haven't been able to put it down to play anything else. It is just so much fun, and I love the comic book format and art style. It really reminds me of another favorite game of mine the under appreciated "Guns, Gore, and Canoli" series. I hope this game does fairly well because I'd love to see a sequel or maybe comics added to this one. Each comic acts as it's own level with it's own theme. The first is like a jungle full of enemy skeleton demon warriors, traps, and man eating plants. The pages of the comics act as the layout of the levels, and every time you play they are randomly generated so it's never the same layout. Every game you experience will be different even with the bosses. There are 40 different ones, so there are tons of attack patterns to master if you want to become really good at Fury Unleashed.

The whole games concept is made up of combos inspiring you to move quickly so that abilities are made stronger by your combo score. The game will also throw objectives at you randomly that will let you gain rewards like Melee certain enemies or reach certain areas in a certain amount of time. These are a lot of fun, and add so much to the game. You really don't have any idea what to expect when you enter the next room so you are always on your toes. You might even walk into a random boss fight while your energy is low. They do drop health beads as well as yellow and black ones that can be used for upgrading, donating , and purchasing items. The health ones don't come in bunches though. You can get perks that make them more frequent, but they still won't be simple to come by. Fury unleashed is a challenge, but it isn't over challenging. You level up every time you play, and you keep these skills. You also level up with your own personal experience so it really feels good to watch your self get better the more you play. That for me is one of the main reasons it's just hard to quit playing it. I love see how much better I have become against the bosses, and how I learn that I don't need to kill everything I see, or visit every room every time.

The music is great it was done by Adam Skorupa and Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz the creators behind the music in some well known classics like the Witcher, Bulletstorm, and a favorite of mine Shadow Warrior 2. So you know it's really well done and enjoyable. The music and sounds of Fury Unleashed are just amazing. It's really nice to look at as well. I can honestly say I enjoy everything about it, and can't think of much negative to say about it. I enjoyed everything from the leveling up system to the character creation. You have so many choices, and you can unlock so much more. The game really encourages replay and you don't get bored doing that. It never feels repetitive at all. Every time you play it just feels so new and fresh.

I loved the way the enemies and bosses look. They were really well developed and so cool to discover new ones. They all have unique attack patterns to challenge you. Each Comic has three main bosses that if you beat unlocks the next comic. Every comic has it's own themes the first as I said being jungle, the second being Nazis, and they asked me not to show the 3rd because they wanted to not spoil it. I get that I love when a developer puts so much effort into a title that they want to keep it spoiler free. You can really see the time that went into this game. It shows from start to finish. The Nazi level has tons of soldiers and machines that attack you. The third like I said I'll leave it a surprise, but this is when the game really gets it's Contra feel to me.

The controls are smooth and flawless. You will move through the levels with double jumps, dashes, and stomps. It feels really good to control. you will pull off some really amazing highlight clip worthy moves about every time you play. You even get special abilities the one you start with is freeze. it will freeze everything on the screen for a certain amount of time. After you use it has a cool down wait though. You will also find more and my favorite so far is the Drone. It has helped me take out a lot of bosses. It just seems everything really aids you on your adventure. Nothing is really just cosmetic even the armors have abilities that you are going to need. Things like faster reload times for weapons or more drops. So you really have to study what you pick up and actually learn your favorites. The same can go for the weapons as well. Everything is so different and fun to learn to use. Everything also has numbers attached to it for strength and has rarity levels. The more you play the more you will discover your favorites.

I could go on and on about this game,, but I think I'm get back to it. I miss it already. I really , really enjoy it and think most will to. They just did everything right with this one. I'm sitting here trying to think of Cons for my Pros and Cons list, and I can't think of anything. What could I say really? It's a action packed Coop game that reminds you of Contra or Metal Slug. It runs flawless with perfect controls.It's loaded with hours of replay and it's an addictive adventure that never feels repetitive. I remember playing Contra over and over with friends as a kid, and this feels the same way. I can see myself coming back to this one over and over. The music and comic book graphics are just amazing. With all that said i'm just skipping the Pros and Cons section for the first time in awhile. This whole review was a pros section and there aren't any Cons in my opinion.

Overall: 9.0
This is the game you been waiting for Coop fans. If you loved Contra or Metal Slug grab this. If your stuck at home with family and looking for something to play together here you go your wait is over. Fury Unleashed is for you. If your home alone it's for you as well though. Fury Unleashed just is gaming perfection, and I feel blessed to have experienced it, and had the chance to share Awesome Games Studio little piece of art.
Video Review Below: