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Making the world safe from mediocrity.

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Game Review: N+

N+ is the new hotness on XBox Live Arcade, created by metanet software as a sequel to their flash game, N.  Lauded as a paragon of substance over style, it is a hit with game reviewers all over.  It has a laughably small download size: 13MB. 

The game prizes control and level design over fluff like graphics.  The biggest problem with the game is that the control feels heavy, and the level design is tedious.

Obviously, they're trying to make it feel "physics-y", where the character has weight and momentum, but it only occaisonally comes off that way.  If you aren't making a gloriously long leap after a run, the character just feels sluggish.

As to the level design, I have to admit that I was only playing the demo, and there are something like 200 levels in the full game.  But they were often merely passable, not clever.  When I see a long corridor of 40 deathtraps that I have jump one by one, stopping each time, I am not enjoying it.  And when I die halfway down that hallway, I'm not only not buying the game, I'm deleting it.

N+, you're just going to have to try a bit harder in the fun department. 

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Pat's Rating system:

  • How much would I pay for the game? Maybe $3-5, if I'm bored.
  • How many times would I replay it? Do I really have to finish it?  It has people hooked, but I just can't see myself trying the same level over and over again like I can with Puzzle Quest.  Multiplayer is supposed to be fun, but that's not enough justification.

XBLA Undertow mini-review

So I finally played some Undertow over the last couple days... seems like a pretty nifty little game, with some very nice graphic effects. I enjoy "territories" game types (ala Halo 3), so this one is mostly right up my alley. Mostly.

 

Pros:

1. Really nice graphics

2. Fast and furious gameplay

3. Character selection and upgrade

4. Cool powerups

5. Multiple ways to traverse the map

 

Cons:

1. I have a really hard time figuring out how to switch my character in the base

2. Do I have any control over how often my teammates spawn, where they spawn, and what kind of characters they are?

3. Very limited life, and no way to ram people, so the bigger ships seem almost useless.

4. No real strategy for the solo game; it's just jump in guns-a-blazin'. And why don't my teammates protect our bases more? It's not like my one character can be everywhere at once.

5. Could the story mode have any more cheese in the cut scenes?

 

Summary:

 I like the game, and would really enjoy playing multiplayer to see if it improves some of the strategy limitations. I got mine free on XBLA so it's a great value overall, but would I have paid for it? Hard to say.

Assault Heroes Review

Well, I spent two evenings on this game...and Voila (not sure how you spell that), I have beat it.

 I would have to say, Assault Heroes reminded me of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved.  You are set in a future time it seems, where you are the last left of and elite force.  You drive a dune buggy and a speedboat throughout the game and you are after a rogue cyborg and have to destroy all his little minions to get to him.

 The game is compromised of four zones (levels) with each seeming to have 3-4 areas.  Once you clear each of the areas, you are able to restart from the finished section.  Also, each level has an underground layer where your little guy gets out of his buggy to do some on foot combat.

 The game play is fantastic.  Your left analog drives your car and your right analog shoots in the direction you want.  You get three different weapons on your vehicle, minigun, flamethrower, and flak cannon, all of which you start with, but you can upgrade them with certain items that enemies drop.  You can throw grenades or nukes from your vehicle too.

There is always a lot going on.  Switching weapons to deal with certain foes better, dodging bullets,  and I always like making the car do donuts.  You can also get out of your vehicle to pick up certain powerups or bonuses that are unattainable by vehicle.  Or if your vehicle blows up, you are on foot until your vehicle reappears (about 1/2 minute). This creates another new aspect of gameplay.  Trying to stay alive while outside of your vehicle, but you do get double points for kills!

One thing I absolutely loved about Assault Heroes is the fact that you heal over time.  So many top -down shooters you have to find health packs or the such to heal.  You heal slow, but none-the-less you heal, and it makes a frantic game great.

 read more »

Catan and Carcassonne

Settlers of Catan on Xbox Live Arcade is by far my favorite game on this so far. I have downloaded Carcassone also due to Carl's recommendation; but I have only gone through the tutorial as of now.

 

Still waiting on some more players for Catan; so far Eric and Sara, Chris and I have it downloaded for play. Soon, Jake will be on it when I buy him an early Christmas present of another Xbox 360; since the nerd sold it to Pat (and what a waste for Pat to even have one with no reliable internet). Anyway, we have enjoyed many evenings of rolling dice, trading and building settlements/cities/roads. I hope the intrest for these board games go well; so they will consider putting more board games on XBLA. That would be so nice to have some Risk, Puerto Rico, and better yet Twilight Imperium on this media. Now I know I am wishing big, lol.


 

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