Geek Citadel http://www.geekcitadel.com Thu, 05 Mar 2015 02:01:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Bullet Points – The Order 1886 Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/04/bullet-points-the-order-1886-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/04/bullet-points-the-order-1886-review/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 02:01:29 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7047 The Order was formed to seek out supernatural evils by King Arthur. They quell rebellions and face off against the vicious lycanthrope that feed on the innocent. Galahad was a part of that order… at least until he ended up on their bad side. We step back into the days before Galahad went from a […]

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The Order was formed to seek out supernatural evils by King Arthur. They quell rebellions and face off against the vicious lycanthrope that feed on the innocent. Galahad was a part of that order… at least until he ended up on their bad side. We step back into the days before Galahad went from a loyal soldier, to a captive in the arms of the people he trusted.

High Points

The Order 1866 2

Attention to Detail – If The Order 1886 does anything well, it’s look visually astonishing. Despite being covered in film grain, the title drips with detail from the characters to the environment. It doesn’t matter if you’re outside observing the city, or inside inspecting a weapon. The Order looks absolutely remarkable in every aspect.

Quantic Dreaming – If there was any game out there that took a look at Heavy Rain and said, “Man, this kind of storytelling is amazing,” it’s The Order 1886. It takes everything that Quantic Dream uses for its games as a tool, and that’s not a necessarily a bad thing. Expert use of cut scenes, snappy transitions, and well place Quick-Time Events adds a cinematic element.

Average Points

Gears of Norm – Combat in The Order 1886 is quick and fluid. It’s the epitome of a stop and pop cover based shooter. Other than a few original weapons like the thermite gun, this game is practically like every 3rd person shooter that exists. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you shouldn’t expect to be impressed by hiding behind waist high walls and slaying waves of enemies.

The idiot A.I. doesn’t help matters as they stand out in the open waiting for a bullet massage. The worst fights in the entire game come from fighting the werewolves. They run straight at Galahad and you tap X to roll and wait for them to run off and repeat the process. Your teammates are equally as stupid as the enemy. They usually sit in cover avoiding confrontations and allow the opposition to murder you relentlessly.

Low Points

The Order 1

Supernatural Failure – Why is the supernatural aspect a secondary play to shooting humans? We finally get a game where we’re shooting Werewolves after the dearth of zombie titles, and we’re restricted to seeing them once in a blue moon?

Story Disconnection – The Order 1886 manages to shoehorn in romance, and political intrigue, and every cliché it can. Yet somehow it overlooks what made The Order such a big presence in London. We have a bunch of stereotypical characters flaunting their abilities as if we’re familiar with them, but the game forgets to tie our minds into that relationship. You’ll hear a lot of big talk about “How things used to be in The Order,” and observe how they perform with each other… but it all just feels like a hollow shell if we don’t know the characters.

I would have liked to have seen how the pragmatic Galahad earned the love of his student, or how Sebastien earned such esteem in The Order but was overlooked as Knight Commander. Maybe some flashbacks of Galahad as a young man working his way up in The Order. Something to explain the supernatural revelations that occur near the middle of the game. The Order 1886 sets itself up as a TV show you’ve missed a couple of seasons of, only to find out that they never existed.

The ending doesn’t reveal anything of note either, and will probably leave a sour taste in your mouth. It sets itself up for with a cliffhanger ending without properly fleshing out its world beforehand, and that’s a bit of a slap in the face.

Stealth Problems – I thought the lack of a “Detective Mode” was actually an impressive feat for a game created in the past four years. It’s the awful need to use a QTE to obtain a stealth kill. The penalty for pressing the button at the correct time is instant death. So it’s not really about being sneaky as it is about timing a QTE correctly.

Conclusion

The Order 1886 leads this console generation with fantastic visuals, but forgets to take that same leap in the game play department. I recommend you wait for a sale on The Order 1886. This linear stop and pop shooter does not try enough new things to be different in this saturated genre.

The Order 1886 In Website Review

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Alpha State – Catacomb Kids http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/25/alpha-state-catacomb-kids/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/25/alpha-state-catacomb-kids/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 02:59:59 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7043 Welcome to Alpha State, where I perform a quick analysis of Early Access games in their infancy and see how they shape up over a few patches. This week, we’re taking a gander at the procedural generated 2D platformer, Catacomb Kids!

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Welcome to Alpha State, where I perform a quick analysis of Early Access games in their infancy and see how they shape up over a few patches. This week, we’re taking a gander at the procedural generated 2D platformer, Catacomb Kids!

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Bullet Points – Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/17/bullet-points-morningstar-descent-deadrock-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/17/bullet-points-morningstar-descent-deadrock-review/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 17:00:22 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7023 A man named Powell awakens from the hibernation chamber and learns that one of his crew mates didn’t survive. He heads to the cockpit to find the Captain of the ship impaled through the stomach by a random piece of debris. He takes a seat and reins in the damaged vehicle as it cascades to […]

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A man named Powell awakens from the hibernation chamber and learns that one of his crew mates didn’t survive. He heads to the cockpit to find the Captain of the ship impaled through the stomach by a random piece of debris. He takes a seat and reins in the damaged vehicle as it cascades to the planet below. Powell must now explore the planet and find a way to repair his broken ship.

High Points

Morningstar 2

Engineering puzzles – The puzzles are sound from an engineering perspective. You’ll find materials and parts to fix broken equipment and structures around the planet. Powell and the Captain will give us hints on how to use the parts, and from those hints we will craft makeshift sensors and explosives.

Creepy Atmosphere – Descent to Deadrock has a truly creepy feel to it. Stone statues of unknown origin watch over a sandy wasteland. Wrecked ships and dead bodies are strewn about the desolate planet leaving only the mystery of how they died. It creates a tense sensation while you search for a means to escape.

Average Points

Dem Graphics – The visuals are very 1998, and that would be acceptable if not for the stillness of the game play. It reminds me of older games like Shadowgate or Déjà Vu. You are mostly watching a still image that only reacts when you interact with a puzzle piece. I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but it could use a touch of life to the environments. Wind blowing the sand, the Captain struggling to breathe in his suit, anything that makes the world feel alive.

Low Points

Morningstar 1

Voice Acting – The voice acting for the main character isn’t awful, but it’s not very effectual or interesting. It’s clear that this person is just reading his lines off a sheet of paper, and not trying to inject emotion to the situation at hand. The Captain of the ship provides hints and information and he’s actually worse than the main character. I found it difficult to care about the situation when the characters themselves don’t seem to give a damn.

Clickity Click – Morningstar is an adventure game that’s a bit too far in the past. You will swirl around the cursor on the screen looking for places to interact with. The game gives you some reasonable tells to solve most puzzles and even a nice hint system. However, there are still places where you’ll have to just randomly click on items to solve a puzzle.

Short game – You can beat this game in 3 to 4 hours even after all the random clicking. You can just plow right on through to the ending sequence without much of a problem. The ending is anti-climactic as well, and it never really solves a few of the mysteries on the planet.

Conclusion

Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock hearkens back to the olden days of adventure gaming. It is light on animation and the voice acting is only tolerable. I recommend that only fans of the adventure genre invest in the short but eventful game play. If you’re not a fan of the adventure genre it isn’t going to convince you to join the genre, and the bad voice work and older design might just scare you off.

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Bullet Points – Harold Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/12/bullet-points-harold-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/12/bullet-points-harold-review/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 21:07:50 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7021 Gabriel is a bit of a prankster and a jerk, but he’s also the best Angel at Guardian school. Everything comes naturally to Gabriel, so he doesn’t even have to study for his tests. He’s basically been gliding his way through school without a single problem. That all changed when he learned that his final […]

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Gabriel is a bit of a prankster and a jerk, but he’s also the best Angel at Guardian school. Everything comes naturally to Gabriel, so he doesn’t even have to study for his tests. He’s basically been gliding his way through school without a single problem. That all changed when he learned that his final exam involves protecting humans in a series of races. As a lesson to Gabriel for being a bit too confident in his training, he is tasked with guarding a rather clumsy human named, Harold. Now Gabriel must help Harold place third in every race or he won’t obtain his scholarship to Archangel Academy.

High Points

Harold Feat PIC

Fun Story – Gabe is a brash and confident Angel-in-Training trying to get his wings. Saraphel Malakh has a rich family history to live up to, but she’s not in the same league as the rest of her family. She watches Gabe earning his accolades and gets bitten by the green eyed monster. Needless to say, watching the both of them come to terms with their own failings is worth helping the uncoordinated, Harold.

Great Animation – The cinematics are flash animated but they boast a nice art style and a Saturday morning cartoon aesthetics. The animations during the gameplay are astounding to say the least. It is fun to watch Harold go full sonic the hedgehog, or be wowed by the smooth transition of one of the many boost cinematics during a race. The backgrounds could be a bit more dynamic, but the shifting level scheme more than makes up for it.

Awesome Soundtrack – The music during a race escalates depending on what place Harold is in during the race. Since this game is all about heavenly miracles the music is filled with the gospel sung by a choir. As Harold advances in a race the hymn will begin and start a song about his exploits.

Hard And Fun – Harold is an endless runner with a few tricks up its sleeve. As a god like being you control the environment around Harold and his fellow racers. You’ll move objects so that he can continue at his pace, and strike down lightning with FURIOUS anger to bring out his inner speedster. It’s a challenging process to keep him dashing at optimal speed, and also sabotage his opponents by moving platforms out of their way.

That’s probably the best part of the game, sabotaging the other angel’s racers by trapping them or pulling the rug out from under their feet. Every stage is based on remembering where to jump, or what to move in a certain stage. This gradually makes the platforming more difficult as Harold proceeds through the various races. Like a game of Rock Band – you’ll have a chance to practice areas of the course so that Harold can move through it faster. The game is layered with alternate course routes and constant boosts to keep Harold moving act optimal speed. It’s a ton of fun if you get used to the control scheme.

Average Points

Harold 1

Controller Support Only – It makes sense that the game needs controller support, but only because some of the controls require rotations. I feel like some concessions could have been made for the keyboard crowd. Maybe changing the rotations to simple up and down movements with the keyboard.

Low Points

Convoluted Controls – Since Harold is a game about basically recalling every piece of a level. It’s weird that the controls are all over the place. Instead of a simple structure to dash, the player has to tap the top buttons on the controller. Flick the trigger buttons to change between platform sections, pull back and push forward to break items, or do the same to pull bridges. There is actually more to learn as the stages progress, but that’s a lot to memorize while sabotaging other humans and watching Harold.

Conclusion

Harold is a fun plat-former that clumsily steps on its own shoes with weird controls. If you’re into puzzle platforming you will have a blast directing Harold in and out of danger. Everyone else who isn’t into punishingly difficult games based off memory and precision… well you’re just going to be pissed off a lot. If you do ever get used to the controls this can be a fantastic game for practicing speed running. I recommend you wait for a sale on Harold. It features splendid graphics but for a game that requires precision timing, it doesn’t have a particularly functional control scheme.

*This title was given to us by the Publisher*
Harold In Website Review

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Bullet Points – Dying Light Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/11/bullet-points-dying-light-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/11/bullet-points-dying-light-review/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 13:35:23 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=6991 Kyle Crane is inserted into the city of Harran on an assignment from the Global Relief Effort or the GRE for short. He’s on a mission to recover a stolen file from a man named Suleiman. On arrival he’s bitten by the infected residents in the area and rescued by friendly survivors from the Tower. […]

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Kyle Crane is inserted into the city of Harran on an assignment from the Global Relief Effort or the GRE for short. He’s on a mission to recover a stolen file from a man named Suleiman. On arrival he’s bitten by the infected residents in the area and rescued by friendly survivors from the Tower. Crane discovers quickly that the GRE wish for him to obtain the files by any means. He’s torn between doing his duty and helping the citizens in Harran survive.

High Points

Dying Light 5

Lovely – Harran may be ripe with the stink of The Walking Dead, but you couldn’t tell by how beautiful it looks. Beyond desolate ruins of a city ravaged by corpses – lies a gorgeous island surrounded by clear water. Zombie limbs crumble to the ground, explosions provide convincing particle effects, and moving through the darkness with only a small cone of light to guide you – is terrifying.

Free Running – Assassin’s Creed is probably the game that most people mention when speaking of parkour movements. Dying Light trumps that system completely by foregoing the automation of free-running. You are in complete control of Kyle as he sprints, jumps, and latches onto the terrain to move around. It gives a sense of euphoria and control that hasn’t been done before in video games. It’s ripe with smooth transitions as you bound over zombies or claw your way to the top of a building to enjoy the view.

It only gets better once the Grappling hook comes into to play, you’ll practically breeze through areas without ever losing your momentum. Techland got this one right and I’m in love with it.

Skill Tree – Dying Light has a talent tree system that’s actually mechanically sound. Skill points are earned by completing missions or by attacking or free-running. There are three different trees and each levels independently of the other. A lot of skill trees in other games are about making our characters overpowered. Dying Light reveals an ability tree that improves the players skill but doesn’t make the game easier because of it.

Night Terrors – When night falls an untold darkness descends upon the city, bringing out the gruesome terrors of the world. Dying Light completely drenches the city in darkness. You can barely see your surroundings or the creatures that lurk in the night. Vicious hunters lurk through the shadows sniffing out any runner who dares to step in front of them. They can chase Kyle down mercilessly and beat him to death in seconds.

Playing the game at night is like turning on the hard mode. You are rewarded more ability points for running through the night, but it’s highly likely that one wrong step will summon a slew of zombies.

Cooperative Play – Unlike Far Cry 4 or AC Unity, four players can leap into the world of Dying Light and take on every single mission together. I don’t have to tell you that playing cooperatively leads to endless hilarious scenarios. The transition from single-player to playing with friends is seamless, and while our play sessions had a few hiccups – it was worth suffering to play with a pal.

Average Points

Dying Light 3

Traveling – The map in Dying Light is huge, it’s not as gigantic as say Far Cry 4 but it does take some time to get around. That being said, there aren’t any vehicles, or options to fast-travel to any of the many safe houses in the game. I can understand this not being an option at night, but at least let us get around quickly in the day time. Running across the map for long periods of time can be a bit of a chore even after obtaining the grappling hook.

Boring hero, boring story – Kyle Crane parachutes into Harran with a bad attitude. He helps people out but treats them like trash while doing so. He’s also a bad judge of character and does some questionable things for the sake of a relief organization named the GRE. He does it all so that he can find a special file which can somehow make things worse than a zombie apocalypse. The story plays it by the numbers with some cringe worth scenarios of evil villain syndrome as well. At least the people in the Tower are often normal enough to pull Dying Light back from its James Bond aspirations drawbacks.

Low Points

Dying Light 2

Combat system – Regular zombies take much too much damage at the beginning of the game. Using melee against intelligent enemies consists of them dodging 60% of your attacks. Not only are they clairvoyant the humans have the ability to parry your attacks, and this is a skill that the Kyle never receives. The system quickly boils down to using a back-step and power attacks to defeat enemies.

It’s a real shame too, the melee system has a lot of potential for a constructive parry, block, and dodge system. I’m thinking more along the lines of games like Medieval, Zeno Clash, or even a first-person Batman system – albeit with more skill involved.

Stretched out Fetch Quests – I don’t like Fetch quests but I tolerate them in most games. Dying Light has a particular formula of Fetch quests that truly wins the bad award. Go here and find this individual, now this individual will tell you to go here, now go back to that individual. Now the individual you just ran across the map to, will tell you to go to another individual, and that individual may give you a quest reward or send you to the first individual instead.

This happens too much for my liking, and it wouldn’t be a problem if you didn’t have to run for five to ten minutes to get around. If a game is going to remove fast travel, don’t give me long drawn out quests for the sake of stretching out the game.

Optimization on PC – I’m running a GTX 980 on an i7 4770k with 12 gigs of DDR3 ram and Dying Light consistently dips below 60 fps with all settings turned on. The main culprit seems to be the view distance setting and simply turning this down offers a much smoother session.  You’ll have to mess with your settings to get 60 fps most of the time, but the frame rate still dips to below 50 FPS when viewing the city from up high. I also encountered the occasional stutter when activating one of the many dialogue cutscenes.

Patch 1.2.1 made a lot of these issues less apparent, but they were still there to nag me whenever I forgot about them. There were also quite a few bug issues that were pretty hard to ignore, like my coop partner constantly crashing, or enemies appearing in safe zones that we couldn’t protect ourselves against.

Conclusion

Dying Light is a game I didn’t expect much from, but it completely took me by surprise. As I’m writing this, I’ve played thirty or so hours and my fun level spiked the more I played. Even though we recommend you Wait for a Sale for Dying Light, it’s still a game that we think you should play.

There are a lot of optimization issues plaguing the PC version at the moment, even with the updates it is hard to recommend the game at full price. The fetch quests and story bring down the pacing of the game significantly, but the freedom of movement, brutality of traveling at night makes this a game worth purchasing for zombie enthusiasts. For everyone else, It’s worth trying out if you can get it at forty dollars and below.

Dying Light website Review

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Bullet Points – Blackguards 2 Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/10/bullet-points-blackguards-2-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/10/bullet-points-blackguards-2-review/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 03:02:22 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=6962 From the time I have spent with Blackguards 2, I have realized that I used to enjoy playing these types of games as a young teen with a Gameboy. However it’s a PC I’m playing this on and it’s the same type of game as Final Fantasy Tactics, a turn-based strategy-RPG. Where your every move […]

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From the time I have spent with Blackguards 2, I have realized that I used to enjoy playing these types of games as a young teen with a Gameboy. However it’s a PC I’m playing this on and it’s the same type of game as Final Fantasy Tactics, a turn-based strategy-RPG. Where your every move is important to the outcome of the battles you are in and rushing in isn’t an encouraged tactic…here are my thoughts on it.

What We Liked

  • Visually, this game is pretty good. I like the art style as it reminds me a little of Diablo and World of Warcraft. The environments I felt were well rendered and player models stood up next to the quality of everything else.

Love/Hate Relationship

  • The controls while simple, took a little time to get used to if you aren’t used to playing this type of game on PC like me. I enjoyed it though and it was easy to pick up BUT…there were some times I felt the controls weren’t responsive to a certain action I was trying to complete so I had to try it 2 or more times before it would do it.
  • The story is alright, looks much like a revenge story to gain power but at the same time it captured my attention for the time period of playing it. The only things I can say bad about it is the voice acting and possibly some of the writing for the characters.

What We Didn’t Like

  • No Window Mode? That really sucked while playing this as I like to multitask on my machine. If I wanted to stream this and go to another window while playing to check chat I couldn’t do that or couldn’t respond.

Conclusion

In the end some may regard Blackguards 2 as a good sequel to the first game but I’ll just say it’s an alright game that will consume some time. It has pretty good visuals but the story may be a hit and miss at times. You might not enjoy having this game full screened the whole time you play if you like streaming games on your PC. Even though this game goes for a good price of $35 I will have to recommend that you wait till it goes on sale for about $15 and under.

 

Geek Citadel-Blackguards 2

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Bullet Points – Grim Fandango Remastered http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/04/bullet-points-grim-fandango-remastered/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/04/bullet-points-grim-fandango-remastered/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 15:03:26 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=6980 You would think that Death would free people from working a crappy 9 to 5 to survive. Unless your name is Manny Calavera, who’s stuck selling trips to heaven to new arrivals in the underworld. If you’re good you get a first class trip to heaven, and if you’re bad… get ready for a long […]

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You would think that Death would free people from working a crappy 9 to 5 to survive. Unless your name is Manny Calavera, who’s stuck selling trips to heaven to new arrivals in the underworld. If you’re good you get a first class trip to heaven, and if you’re bad… get ready for a long dangerous walk. Manny has a bit of debt that’s stopping him from heading to the Promised Land. He finally finds a pure soul who should send him to the big leagues, but instead she leads him on a chase through the land of the dead.

What we liked

Grim Fandango 2

Full of Character – Grim Fandango is a classic adventure game for a reason. Very few titles come with as much personality as this one. Manny is one hell of a guy, but even the villains are hard to dislike. Glottis is my personal favorite, he’s stupid, adorable, and absolutely hilarious. Its top notch comedy mixed with an intriguing take on life after death. There aren’t many stories that will keep you entertained like this one.

Here’s looking at you kid – Despite coming out in 1998, Grim Fandango is a beautiful game. I’m not just talking about the HD upgrade mind you, which removes all the jagged edges from all of the 3D character models. I’m talking about a team that cares about creating impressive animations for each character. Little things like Manny sliding down a railing, or Glottis squeezing his big body out of a small room. It’s the attention to detail in every encounter that adds that special touch to Grim Fandango.

Sounds of Rubacava – I’ve already talked up the characters, but did I mention why they are so great? I’ll give you one guess… it’s the voice acting. Usually games with a lot of dialogue are either too long-winded, or have a voice actor that ruins the experience. Not in Grim Fandango, every conversation is soothed by spirited voice work pushed along by a laugh out loud script.

Puzzles that don’t suck – In many adventure games you tend to click randomly on the screen searching for the answer to a perplexing puzzle. That’s not something that tends to happen often in Grim Fandango. The puzzles are designed in a manner that you can easily understand them. At first you won’t realize why you have an item, and then the game reveals a situation that immediately turns the wheels in your brain. You’ll still backtrack a ton, but mostly because you realize what that item you have is for.

Vita Version – The Vita Version isn’t as crisp as the console and PC version but it does the game justice. Touch controls are used for opening the inventory, examining items, pausing the game, etc. Other than that, the game plays exactly the same on the handheld.

Could be better

HD Upgrade – The higher resolution, better 3D models, developer commentary, and the addition of 16:9 are the only noticeable updates here. It’s kind of like an upgrade as the game relatively looks like it did before but a bit crisper. It’s not mind blowing like The Secret of Monkey Island or Resident Evil remakes. It’s more like game update than a totally overhauled system. At least it works well when playing with a controller.

What we hated

Grim Fandago 3

Crashes and glitches – The title has a few animations bugs when speaking to characters, and it crashed on me at least three times on the Playstation 4.

Cross- Saves – The cloud saving from my PS4 to my Vita causes save corruption on the handheld. In four different instances, I had re-download Grim Fandango on Vita because a cloud save would crash my game every time I started it.

Conclusion

 

Grim Fandango earned its place as a classic because of the excellent story and detailed animations. The puzzle design thinks out of the box, and functions better than the exhausting amount of modern adventure titles available. If you’re any kind of a fan of the adventure genre, Grim Fandango Remastered is a must purchase. Rubacava looks better than ever and reiterates why it’s one of the best adventure games ever created.

*This title was provided to us by the Publisher*

Grim Fandango Review

 

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Alpha State – Stranded Deep http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/01/28/alpha-state-stranded-deep/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/01/28/alpha-state-stranded-deep/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:38:17 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=6966 How come a rich guy can’t just sip a martini on his private plane in peace? Turbulence rips open the cabin door and sends the plane spiraling into the darkness. The rich man wakes up in a life raft absent his martini glass and instead with a pocket knife, lighter, and a bottled water. He’s […]

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How come a rich guy can’t just sip a martini on his private plane in peace? Turbulence rips open the cabin door and sends the plane spiraling into the darkness. The rich man wakes up in a life raft absent his martini glass and instead with a pocket knife, lighter, and a bottled water. He’s stuck in the middle of the ocean with only a few islands as his safe haven. He has to try to struggle to stay alive in hopes that someone will someday rescue him from this lonely hell.

What we liked

Stranded Deep 3

 

The Pieces are in Place – For a game in early access, Stranded Deep has all of its components in place. The sea is heavily populated with fish and fauna, and the bug issues are easily overlooked… except for the disappearing raft bug. Once the Raft disappears you can have to load a save or start the game over. Otherwise, it feels solid fresh out of the gate and all the tools are in place and in working order.

Intricate Crafting – The crafting system is probably one of the best out there. You actually have to place the items in front of you and piece them together as opposed to just having them stashed in a bag. It gives a personal touch to combining components for survival. It’s a bit complicated at first but once you figure out the method to the madness, you’ll probably never respect other crafting systems the same way.

Graphics – The light of the sun beams across the ocean during the evenings, but at night the moon reveals itself as the last beacon of survival in the darkness. Stranded Deep features a believable world by scaling back the HUD and allowing us to see things as we do in real life. Taking to the ocean could use a better transition than fading to black, but what is underneath is undoubtedly a believable underwater experience.

Could be better

Stranded Deep 2

Goals – As with most Survival games drifting about in this saturated genre, I can’t figure out why I should continue playing. I can Build some tools, chop wood, and use my architect skills to create a home. Now what… what’s the ultimate goal of this game? Just stay alive for a certain amount of days like Tom Hanks in Castaway? I see a great vast ocean ahead of me with plenty of islands, but they all look vaguely the same as the others. I could use a bit of discovery, some underwater ruins, some dense jungle islands to find treasure on… something that makes it worth playing for longer than a few hours.

The Enemies under the sea – Sharks in their current state don’t do much but bump your raft and run away as you whack them to death. There are no other terrors of the sea to be afraid of or creatures to marvel at in its current state. No dolphins, whales, squid, jellyfish, octopi, etc. The ocean needs a little more life to it to satisfy those deep diver cravings.

What we disliked

Stranded Deep

Where are the damn rocks – Rocks are fundamental to all of the important crafting in the title. It’s too bad there are only maybe three or four rocks per island. Which is weird when you look around and see rocks everywhere. You can’t build a mining pick and makes some rock, you have to travel 15 minutes to another island to try to find some. I even tried looking in the sea for a rock, a clam, or even a seashell but didn’t have any luck.

Can’t climb onto ledges – There are a few ships that we can scavenge from in the game. At times they will have items on top of them, or inside a hatch that leads to the lower decks. It’s just too bad that you can’t climb to get the item, or pull yourself out of the hatch once you decide to look around. It kind of sucks that the only thing you can climb… is a tree.

Conclusion

Stranded Deep has a good basis and it’s great that it is currently in working order. It sets up the premise of a guy stuck in the middle of nowhere well, but now it needs to give us some goals to pursue. Stranded Deep is worthy of a purchase if you’re really into survival games, if you’re not… well I’d suggest you wait for a sale. This game has a ton of potential in its early access state. I’m hoping the developers take risks to make it a game about adventure and discovery, instead of fighting off naked cannibals, zombies, or the boogie man like in other survival titles. I personally feel more immersed while trying to survive against nature than I ever did facing off against a monster.

Stranded Deep Review Version 001

*This title was supplied to us by the developer*

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Bullet Points – Citizens of Earth Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/01/20/bullet-points-citizens-earth-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/01/20/bullet-points-citizens-earth-review/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:00:22 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=6950 As the newly elected Vice President of the World, it’s time to do whatever the President asks you to do. The opposition leader isn’t satisfied with the results of the election, he’s started a smear campaign on the V.P. that has everyone riled up. Despite these problems he goes out of his way to help […]

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As the newly elected Vice President of the World, it’s time to do whatever the President asks you to do. The opposition leader isn’t satisfied with the results of the election, he’s started a smear campaign on the V.P. that has everyone riled up. Despite these problems he goes out of his way to help out the citizens with their problems. He’s embroiled in a mystery that includes strange animals wandering the forests, and coffee makers that attack the patrons.

What we liked

Citizens of Earth 2

Earthbound Style – The creators of Citizens of Earth were clearly inspired by the great Mother/Earthbound series. It capitalizes on the visual presentation of minimalist first-person battles with text flowing above screen. It has its own sense of wacky characters from the over-the-top Vice President to the insane ramblings of the school mascot.

Gotta Catch Em’ All – Even with the resemblance to Earthbound, the game has a distinct similarity to the Pokemon series. As the V.P. you’re set to push citizens around with your powerful ways. Your job is to meander about town running into wacky personas and recruiting them to do your bidding. Each citizen has their own set of skills and strengths and weaknesses. They can easily be swapped in and out according to the situation, so there is plenty of fun to be had with each.

Great Voiceover – Every person in Citizens of Earth has a voice and they’re all great and capture the characters on screen wonderfully. Not every person has spoken dialogue in every situation, but the 75 percent that do sure are great to listen to.

Pricing – Citizens of Earth is a full-fledged RPG that captures the 16-bit era of games perfectly. It’s hard to argue with the price of $15 for hours of JRPG fun… even if the game has some drawbacks.

Could be better

Citizens of Earth Review 3

JRPG Essence – I like Citizens of Earth… but that’s about as far as I can go with it. It doesn’t really break any walls down for the RPG genre. It takes a lot of pride in its comedy which is hit and miss, but the recruiting of Citizens breaks down to the monotony of fetch quests. Find this, kill that, it’s all rudimentary after a few battles. Within two or so hours of playing, I was already bored of what felt like a “grind” and that’s just not right.

Not only that, but the combat system is a little too basic for my tastes. It makes no attempts at differentiating itself from any other RPG that ever existed before it. I love Earthbound but somehow playing the same combat system in Citizens doesn’t have the same appeal. My only assumption to my feelings it that I remember Earthbound from 1994, and sadly it’s 2015 and I’d expect a staggering upgrade in the combat system by then.

Load Times Vita – Loading is buttery smooth on the PC but the Vita takes some time to move in and out of buildings. It’s a 5 to 6 seconds difference, but it’s noticeable since you move through different zones constantly. Other than the loading issue, the games are virtually the same.

Disliked

citizens of earth 1

Soundtrack – It’s not that I hate the Soundtrack per se, it’s just that it isn’t that impressive for an RPG. Seeing as this game was inspired by the Mother series, you’d think it could do a little better with the musical choices. Sadly, there were times where the music began to grate or simply cutout completely after a combat sequence.

The world – Citizens of Earth has some great characters but the world is a bit too sanitary. The visuals are crisp enough to take a delicious bite out of, but the environments lack an artistic flair. At times I could confuse the design with that of a flash game. For a game that’s trying to capture the 16-bit essence, it lacks that artful variation that breathes life into different zones. The level design was clearly created for travel and not to stop to smell the roses.

Can’t skip messages – There is one thing I can’t stand in RPG’s, and that’s not being able to skip arbitrary messages. You can’t do that in Citizens of Earth, you’re forced to listen to the V.P. make snide comments during battle and enjoy lingering messages of enemies dropping items. It’s a small little thing, but man if it isn’t an annoyance when grinding.

 

Conclusion

Comedy has a place in video games and Citizen of Earth does tickle that fancy completely. As an RPG… it tries to mimic Earthbound and Pokemon, but falls short of the heights that those two titles reached. I recommend you wait for a sale before becoming the Vice President of the World. Citizens of Earth emulates the Mother series closely, but fails to show its own heart in the process. I’m not saying it’s a bad RPG, but nothing about the story or the combat had me playing it for more than a couple hours a day.

*This title was provided to us by the Publisher*

Citizens of Earth In Website Review

 

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Bullet Point – Destiny: The Dark Below Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2014/12/18/bullet-point-destiny-dark-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2014/12/18/bullet-point-destiny-dark-review/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:54:39 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=6927 Oh hey Destiny it’s been a while since I p…holy crap what happened!? That was my exact thought as I jumped back into Destiny upon the release of its new expansion “The Dark Below”. It’s an unforgiving beast and if you didn’t level your character all the way to the cap, you are going to […]

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Oh hey Destiny it’s been a while since I p…holy crap what happened!? That was my exact thought as I jumped back into Destiny upon the release of its new expansion “The Dark Below”. It’s an unforgiving beast and if you didn’t level your character all the way to the cap, you are going to have as rough of a time getting through this as I did. Here’s my review of it…

Things I Liked

  • A new story to keep the players playing the game instead of just grinding it out in the crucible or making other characters (if they haven’t done that yet).
  • The new ride I got after downloading this expansion was pretty neat as well as some of the new weapons that helped me out a lot.

 Expansion I_mission shot 1

Love/Hate Relationship

  • Difficult as all hell. I don’t normally use that word in a review but I felt like it was necessary for this one. As much as I love a challenge but I felt a bit penalized at the same time being your first mission is a LEVEL 24 Mission and I feel short by 4 at first before equipping some items and going in just 2 under. However it’s the next mission after that made me hate this expansion and how hard it is, like I was being punished for not going the extra mile and leveling to 30.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • The loot system to me hasn’t changed in the crucible, sure it’s more rewarding to play in the Iron Banner events but I still feel like every crucible match should be rewarding the GOOD players and not the ones who end up in last.

Conclusion

Overall it’s a pretty decent expansion for those who have been waiting for another story to play after possibly being let down by the main one (if you felt that way). If you start low, you might feel as punished as I did so I suggest being between levels 25 and up before starting this expansion to have a decent chance of running through this with a little ease. If you invested in the pass already, I would suggest downloading this plus the level cap was raised by 1.

 

A download code was provided by Activision for review purposes

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