What exactly is samurai_jazz about you ask? Does it follow a Jazz musician who has lost his musical soul through a time warp that leads to Feudal Japan, and must learn the ways of the Samurai to retrieve his dexterity and spirit? Nah, but you are a Samurai who runs around an alternate version of the 1930’s where everyone uses swords to fight. Some guy commits seppuku and then your character wakes up across the hall to explore the city. Yeah, that’s the jist of the story as far I saw, so we’ll just run with it.
Samurai_jazz takes place in an 8-bit world, with a jazz influenced soundtrack flowing in the background. The hero will move through the streets facing off against blue suited Samurai who can murder in one-hit. Our hero can move left and right, and up and down to block incoming blows, or slash his enemies in half. He can also get vertical and scale walls, and leap rooftops to reach otherwise obstructed locations. The key to combat is to avoid being surrounded by a crowd of sword wielders, or it’s time to start the zone over from scratch.
The simple nature of the gameplay is what keeps it intriguing. New enemy types will appear as you advance through levels, like the uncaring store patrons who bowl you over, big black guys with bats, or the woman who heard you talking about her giraffe neck. Either that or she is trying to seduce our hero by showing off her skills. The main gameplay element is to fetch stuff for people so that you can get into new areas. That’s all you ever seem to fight for, cigarettes and membership cards. I guess cutting down one more guy would be dishonorable, damn you, Samurai code!
In all seriousness, samurai_jazz is an enjoyable title. It could be a little less generic with the story and quest options, but the music is well done and the combat can get addicting. Geek Citadel gives samurai_jazz three stars out of five. It is not going to woo many players, but if you are looking for a Bushido Blade style beat-em up to play for a short time, you have a reason to spend three dollars on this.
Nilin was one of the best memory hunters around. She was so skilled that she had the power to not only wipe memories, but also change the way they unfold. Unfortunately, a powerful corporation wipes out Nilin’s memory, but a man named Edge helps her to escape back into the world. The story takes pace just after the escape, and it follows Nilin as she attempts to recover her memory while listening to Edge’s orders.
Nilin’s story is undersold by bland voice-over and an uninteresting storyline. She spends all of her time clambering on top of buildings, and participating in terrorist actions brought forth by her savior Edge. Beyond Nilin, the entire cast of characters lack intriguing personalities due to a dull and obvious script. The idea of creeping into memories is definitely something worth experiencing, but Remember Me opts to explore this venue in the most inane way possible.
Everything pushes Nilin into a fight with stiff controls and a customizable pre-made combo system. A Customizable pre-made combo system… what is that? Well, Nilin has the option of switching out various combo systems called Pressens. Each Pressen has a certain trait to it from health restoration, to hitting for more damage per hit. You can sort these between the pre-made combos, and be prepared to spam the same buttons repeatedly to activate the Pressens. That’s it, the variety is that you can switch around these Pressens for different advantages, but Nilin will always attack in the same fashion.
Next up is the automatic plat-forming elements that always lead down a direct path to Nilin’s destination. Apparently, the challenge is to try to decipher the point at which Nilin will outright fall to her doom because she felt like it. Jumping and grabbing Edges and platforms are all in the hands of the game mechanics, so when Nilin falls to her death during jumps… you cannot help but feel jipped that you had no part in her demise.
The sealing of the coffin for Remember Me is the Re-writing of memories. Much like watching a show on a DVR, players can rewind and fast-forward through a cutscene. Glitches will appear that Nilin can activate to knock over a bottle or un-cuff a dangerous suspect. That is great and all, but the choices of how the memories pan out are already pre-determined. A prompt will pop-up on-screen and give Nilin her goal “Make this person kill this other person.” You have no choice in how the events pan out at all, and that’s where Remember Me fails at its ultimate goal of being different. This skill supposedly separates her from other Memory Hunters, but she spends most of her time punching guards in the face.
It’s a shame that the gameplay is repetitive nonsense, because the title is absolutely beautiful. The game is so vain about its sci-fi utopia that it will constantly remind you how gorgeous it is. It’s too bad that beauty is skin deep, and everything underneath is as shallow as a grave. Remember Me receives two stars from Geek Citadel. This
Many years ago, The Yawhg came to a town and devastated it. The people survived and rebuilt the town, and the story of The Yawhg lived on as a Folk Tale. Now, The Yawhg will return in six weeks to terrorize the town, and no one will suspect a thing. You take on the role of a denizen of the town, living a normal life in the weeks before The Yawhg returns to cause chaos. What kind of life will you have before The Yawhg comes to take it all away?
The Yawhg is a choose-your-own-adventure party game. Two or four players can drop into the world and take turns selecting various destinations in town. Each destination will lead to a choice that can increase statistics like finesse, and charm. After gaining new stats, a random event will appear that can be detrimental or helpful to the player. Your character could find a shiny new ring, or fall victim to the wiles of a vampire. This can lead to negative stats or even the destruction of one of the locations in town.
The beautiful artwork and well-written encounters creates an appealing world. The real factor here is the party element, and The Yawhg greatly achieves that objective. If you have some friends over, just sit back and take in the atmosphere and strange events. You will chuckle with your buddies while building your stats and discovering the intricacies of the game mechanics. It’s all about tackling each of the locations and unraveling the stories hidden within, while trying to build stats to keep the town together at the end of six weeks.
One session can take up to 8 to 15 minutes to complete the first couple of times you play. It’s short and sweet when playing, but also short in content as well. It only takes two or more play-throughs to retread stories you have seen in a previous session. By the fifth or the sixth encounter, it is possible to see seventy percent of the events. It’s a shame that there isn’t enough content to keep players coming back for spontaneous party fun.
The Yawhg is a great idea that needed a little more time in the oven. A unique and fun gameplay experience that’ geared toward a party environment. It simply lacks the longevity needed to continue coming back to play for the next social event. The Yawhg receives a C+ from Geek Citadel. It is fun for about an hour, and by then you have probably seen everything that it brings to the table.
The Yawhg, and samurai_jazz were given to us to review!