Tag - steam

Postal Redux Review

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Lately I have been playing a lot of strategic games, sharpening my mind while my body is resting.  I start playing figuring I might go for an hour – then three hours later I’m still playing, my eyes have become blurry and I need something to take my mind off of sharpening my mind.  TV can be nice for that but it is passive participation and sometimes you really just need some silly hands-on carnage to release the stress of the day.  It doesn’t get much more active crazy carnage than a classic killer brought up to date with gorgeous gore like Postal Redux on Steam.

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Hands On Guns:

Ah 1997, the Nintendo 64 was hot, Final Fantasy VII reased in Japan, human cloning is banned… ah heck who cares about that crap?  If you are reading this you want to know about Postal which made a bloody splash on the market back in that year.  In human years 19 isn’t that big of a deal, in video game years that is an exceptionally long time ago!  As a result Postal was a little unrefined looking but nobody really cared it was all about the mass unadulterated slaughter of everything in sight.  It earned it’s claim to fame in video game history and those who lived through the days talked about it fondly.

Now fast forward to these days and those who talk about it fondly decided to do something about it and bring it back, cleaned up graphics with a couple more goodies to main and kill with, another mode and some new areas to kill in because let’s face it everyone wants to go kill happy in a Carnival.

Just like in the old days the cops show up at your house and boy is that a mistake.  So as to not give away plot points (there are a couple) you use up to 10 weapons including mines, heat seeking missiles, flame throwers, of course machine guns and now the Commanding Revolver to tear your way through 17 levels.  Tear through a junkyard with your trusty boomstick (they call it a shotgun but I will always call them boomsticks) which is also great for the all important double tap, head through the ghetto with a Molotov cocktail (I’m sure they won’t mind) and lay mines for extra fireworks on the midway at the Carnival.  Just remember above all save some flamethrower for the marching squad, that is epic!

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The improved graphics really make the game the fun that it is, the old one which is still available and around is okay but look at a comparison and you can see the huge difference.  I absolutely love the Carnival level in case you haven’t gotten the hint, the colors and richness of the graphics show the how much the developers cared about the game’s updating.

The addition of Rampage Mode also will keep you coming back for more since it is a constant wave mode that rewards kill streaks, creative kills and speed.  It’s a great way to play then challenge a buddy to beat your score and go back and forth.

Last Blast:

Postal Redux on Steam took a classic game that players looked back on with nostalgia and gave it a caring update that makes it even more fun than it was in the old days with graphics that it well deserved.  So the next time you head it pounding from a hard day or you just want to unwind or heck you simply want to napalm angry ostriches have Postal Redux updated and thrill in the mayhem.

Postal Redux Review Score
Overall Nostalgic Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
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Corpse Party – A Review (PC)

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Independent games have always been hit or miss with me.  For everyone that I find just beautiful and fun to play, there are twenty that I could not ever see myself playing another minute and that is only thinking about what is released in the United States.  Japan’s independent game scene is a little bit different then ours, many dojin software creators make the games more for fun then profit.  The industry isn’t driven by profit or exposure, but more about making a fun game that the developer wanted to play.  Dojin software games, therefore, have a tendency to be more polished and more fun to play, since they are not rushed out to make a profit.  Developer Team GrisGris and publisher Marvelous USA have released one such product in Corpse Party, a Japanese role playing game that was originally released in 1996.  Corpse Party went on to be a big success for Team GrisGris, spawning six games in the series, multiple manga series, anime, and a live action film.  This version of Corpse Party is, follow me on this, is a re-release of the re-make of the original game.

Story

The story for Corpse Party begins in a high school in Japan, where Mayu Suzumoto is preparing to transfer to a new high school, away from a sizable group of friends.  On the eve of her last day, the group of friends are helping clean up after class, when Ayumi suggests performing a ritual called “Sachiko Ever After” to bind all of the friends together to keep them from growing apart.  Any fan of the horror genre already will know that this ritual does not go as planned, and the group of students finds themselves transported to the decrepit remains of the Heavenly Host Elementary school, a school that once stood where the high school is today.  Heavenly Host Elementary played host to a series of ghastly murders years earlier, before being demolished.  The only way for the students to survive is to uncover the details surrounding these murders and to help free the ghosts that still wander the halls of Heavenly Host Elementary, before the students themselves met an ugly end.

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The story for Corpse Party is, by far, the best thing about this game.  The story is gripping, intriguing, and makes you want to uncover what had happened years before to these poor students.  Corpse Party drips with atmosphere, which helps keep the story and the player on the edge of their seat.  The story is also broken up into five chapters, each with multiple endings and detailing different sections of the overall story.  Corpse Party also adds in four bonus chapters, including a retelling of “Tooth” from Corpse Party:  Book of Shadows.  I felt that the game did a great job in pacing the tension and balancing the overall feeling of the story, but that dialogue….

Japanese games have had a lot of issues in the past with translation over into English.  No one will forget just how popular “All your base are belong to us” became from Zero Wing.  Well, I think Corpse Party gives that one a run with “I’m gonna butter up my pooper with it real good!”.  No, seriously, that is a line from Chapter 1.  While lines like this do remove me from the tension that the game was building so expertly, I have to forgive it because I understand the tricks and traps of translating between the two languages.  However, yeah, I have to knock a few points off just for that line.

Game Play

Corpse Party plays like a very traditional Japanese role playing game, for the most part.  You begin the game with two students that travel around the elementary school in a line.  As you explore the Heavenly Host Elementary School, you will discover dead ends, hard to reach paths, and corpses, lots of corpses.  Your quest is to collect the information that is littered around the school to discover who these corpses were and what exactly had happened here decades before.

What isn’t so traditional about Corpse Party is that there is no combat, no stats, and no inventory per se.  Sure, you collect names tags and pieces of lumber to help you explore, but no inventory in the sense we are used to for a jrpg.  Since there isn’t any combat, death will usually come as a surprise to you, and usually because you did something out of order, or turned down the wrong hall, or explored a dead end that you were not supposed to explore.  This will lead to a lot of reloading of a previous save.  As a friend of mine put it, “the story is fantastic, but the game is a total dick”.

Your actions and choices will help determine what story ending you get.  There are multiple ways and paths to explore the Heavenly Host Elementary School, so you never feel railroaded into a particular path, but unless you are a veteran at this type of game, it can feel a wee bit overwhelming.  Corpse Party will not hold your hand through the story, nor does it really particularly like you.  If you can live with this uncertainty and dislike, you are in for a treat.

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Aesthetics

Corpse Party is rendered in a retro 2D graphic style that helps recreate the original game from 1996.  From an aesthetic point of view, this is a fantastic design decision, however, I did have a hard time in telling what items were.  It took my almost a half an hour just to discover a plank of wood that I could use to get over a whole in the floor to get out of the first classroom.  Many items you will never guess what they are until you interact with them and get a description from the game.  I am always for retro gaming aesthetics, but with the technology we have today, designers should at least make the items look like they are supposed to.  Still, I felt that the overall visual aesthetic worked real well for Corpse Party.

The original Japanese voice cast is used for Corpse Party.  With over 5,000 lines of spoken dialogue in the original Japanese, Corpse Party delivers the original gaming experience that was released in 1996.  Since the acting is in Japanese, it is impossible for me to tell how well the dialogue is performed.  I mean, it sounds good and all, but I can’t tell if they are over-acting, under-acting, or just giving us a shopping list.

Final Thoughts

Corpse Party is a great retro-style Japanese role playing game story that is almost completely ruined by the game play.  I love the story, the atmosphere, and the tension that Corpse Party delivers to the player, but the game play is one that almost borders on frustrating due to the absolute lack of any direction.  In some cases, I love this freedom, but for some reason it was a negative for me in Corpse Party.  By no means negative enough for me not to recommend Corpse Party, but one that I feel I need to mention.  Corpse Party is a great game, and a great example of what the Japanese independent game industry is capable of.  If you are a fan of creepy Japanese rpgs, then Corpse Party is an absolute must for you.  For everyone else, this is a solid game to pick up and play for about ten hours.  Corpse Party is available now on Steam.

Corpse Party Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

Lionsgate Launches Video Rentals on Steam

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SANTA MONICA, CA, and BELLEVUE, WA, April 25, 2016 – Valve Corporation and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF0 have formed a ground-breaking partnership under which Lionsgate has become one of the first major studios to license films to Valve’s popular Steam digital distribution platform, the two companies announced today. The deal reflects Lionsgate’s commitment to monetize its content across an expanding array of digital platforms by offering its movies, television programming and digital content to online audiences around the world.

The partnership will launch with over 100 Lionsgate feature films available to Steam customers, including movies from the Company’s blockbuster Hunger Games, Twilight, Saw and Divergent franchises. More titles will be added as the partnership continues to expand worldwide.

“We’re delighted to partner with Steam, a leader in the digital entertainment and gaming space, as part of our commitment to remain at the cutting edge of innovation in delivering content to online audiences around the world,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “With over 125 million users, Steam represents a unique, exciting and disruptive opportunity to expand our global distribution business.”

“Lionsgate has emerged as a major creative force with a deep pipeline of blockbuster franchises and commercially exciting, star-driven event films, making them important content suppliers for our platform,” said Valve head of marketing Doug Lombardi. “Their films are engaging audiences and fostering rich communities around the world, reflecting the kind of high-quality entertainment that we expect to drive the continued expansion of our content offering.”

Steam customers are able to view video on all Steam-supported platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, SteamOS, and in virtual reality via SteamVR. Over the past year, Steam’s video offering has continued to expand. Steam is a leading platform for digital content with thousands of titles and millions of users. For pricing, availability, and more, please visit http://store.steampowered.com/sale/lionsgate

Master of Orion Early Access Launch

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April 25, 2016 — Two new races are looking to shake up the galaxy in the next round of Early Access for Master of Orion: the Darloks and the Silicoids. These newcomers aren’t arriving empty handed either; they’re bringing the ways of Espionage with them, revealing Independent Planets, as well as granting a new victory condition: Economic. Along with Windows and Mac OS X, Master of Orion is also now available on Linux and Steam OS.

The arrival of the Darloks and the Silicoids means that NGD Studios has fully assembled the 10 original races from the first Master of Orion. Joined by the Terran, who are only available in the Master of Orion Collector’s Edition, 11 races are all ready to conquer the stars.

The conniving and sneaky Darloks are master spies, trusted by none in the galaxy. Using their superior Espionage skills, you can hoard information, cripple industry and research, steal technology, contaminate food—havoc is the name of the Darloks’ game. However, all races have access to Espionage, so anyone can wage war in the shadows.

The Silicoids may look like hulking stone goliaths, but they are by no means as dumb as a bunch of rocks. They are skillful engineers, trained in capturing colonies and amassing a large fleet. Slow to grow as a population, the Silicoids have an ultra-rich home world brimming with rare minerals that, in the right hands, can send your campaign into overdrive.

The new victory condition “Economic” is for bringing out the tycoon in you. You can corner the galactic market on the Interstellar Stock Exchange to win the game. Just think of how a few Spies will come in handy here—sabotage a structure or make the populace go on strike to stop enemies building up their economy, letting you get ahead. You can also track your economic progress against other players and purchase shares in universe productivity as investments, or to win the game.

Races on Independent Planets have decided forge a life for themselves, away from the rule of larger civilizations. Unlike you and your adversaries, they have no ambitions of expanding in interstellar space. So why are they useful? Independent Planets could hold the key to victory. You can complete missions for them, such as fending off hostiles, and donate credits to get them on your side. Plus, these planets are part of the Galactic Council, and their vote can be critical in achieving a Diplomatic victory.

The NGD Studios crew has been hard at work listening to player feedback and improving the game experience. There are new advanced gameplay settings, a revised technology tree, an integrated tutorial, and lots of bug fixes. This doesn’t mean feedback has to stop; the team still need your help in taking Master of Orion out of this world.

To learn about the creation of Master of Orion’s galaxies and more, watch the latest episode of Early Access Developer Diaries:

The Master of Orion Collector’s Edition grants immediate access to the game:

Total War Battles: Kingdom Launch Trailer

LONDON & IRVINE, CA – MARCH 24, 2016SEGA® Europe Ltd. SEGA® of America, Inc., and Creative Assembly today announced that Total War Battles™: KINGDOM is now available for free download on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; as well as digital download on Google Play™ for Android devices, PC via Steam and Mac.

From the creators of the award-winning Total War Battles™: SHOGUN, KINGDOM sees players ruling a fledgling realm during the tumultuous turn of the 10th century. Introducing all-new gameplay mechanics and for the first time ever bringing the celebrated massed clashes of Total War to mobile platforms, Total War Battles™: KINGDOM features both realm building and large-scale tactical battles.

As players carve out their own piece of a war-torn world, they will transform their lands from a desolate wilderness into a powerful and prosperous realm, while training and customizing their very own army to go head-to-head with other players or AI enemies in real time battles. Players must conquer new territories, overcome their enemies and outwit their competitors as they wage Total War in a persistent world across multiple platforms, carrying over progress no matter where or when they choose to play.

“While there are great casual games on mobile, with Kingdom we wanted to make a much deeper strategy game, but one you can still play at your pace and on the go. KINGDOM is a true Total War game: strategic, historical, great looking but also designed from the ground up for your phone and tablet,” said Renaud Charpentier, Total War Battles: KINGDOM Game Director.

Total War Battles: KINGDOM is available for free download on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, as well as digital download on Google Play™ for Android devices, PC viaSteam and Mac. For more information, please visit www.twkingdom.com. Players can also follow the game’s socials via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.

Man O’ War: Corsair Early Access Launch Trailer

Swindon, UK, 10th March, 2016 – ‘Evil Twin Artworks’, the award winning indie team behind PC classic, ‘Victory At Sea’ can today announce that their Warhammer based sea-faring open world combat-action title, ’Man O’ War: Corsair’ will launch on Steam Early Access, 15th April, 2016.

“We’ve been blown away by the response to our plans for Man O’ War: Corsair so far, and our growing community have already been incredibly supportive,” said James Carroll, Director at Evil Twin Artworks. “We’re big believers in the power of fan feedback and collaboration so we’re excited to be able to announce our Early Access date, and look forward to getting the game into people’s hands.”

To celebrate this announcement, Evil Twin Artworks has created a brand new trailer to show how far the game has come since the first announcement.

The Steam page for ‘Man O’ War Corsair’ can be found here – MOW on Steam

‘Man O’ War: Corsair’ Official Website is here – manowarcorsair.com

Man O’ War: Corsair will be available to play at Rezzed 2016 from 7-9th April, 2016 at Tobacco Docks in London. Tickets can be booked here.

The Descendant First Trailer

February 18, 2016 – In the not-so-distant future, climate change has wrecked the planet, and a man-made extinction event has wiped humankind off the face of the Earth. Only a few thousand ‘descendants of humanity’ were hand-picked to survive the apocalypse, cryogenically suspended in underground bunkers known as Arks.

Centuries passed. The world recovered, and all the Arks reopened, except one — Ark-01.

In The Descendant, from developer Gaming Corps, you play through two timelines – in the past you’ll play as Mia, a janitor tasked with keeping the chosen humans housed inside Ark-01 alive, while in the present you’ll play as Donnie, one of the investigators trying to rescue any survivors trapped within the facility.

Coming to Steam for Windows PC on March 24, the game is a post-apocalyptic narrative adventure where players solve puzzles, explore the dangerous underground facility, and discover a far greater conspiracy buried within the subterranean Ark complex.

The first of five episodes of The Descendant will be available on Steam starting March 24 for $3.99 USD. An “Exclusive Season 1 Bundle” priced $14.99 USD is available now from the game’s official website until 48 hours before the first episode releases. This pre-launch bundle includes all five episodes of the game (with episodes 2 -5 to be released over the course of 2016), grants players 48-hours early access to each episode, and features a full game Soundtrack, a Digital Poster and a Digital Art Book.

For more information on The Descendant, visit the official website, ‘Like’ the game on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Jalopy Gets Greenlit

February 17, 2016 – After only 10 days on Steam, Jalopy, the beautiful arts-and-crafts style game about a challenging road trip across Eastern Europe, has seen the lights change from red to green and passed Steam’s Greenlight process. We all want to say a massive thank you to everyone that voted for us. From here you will now be able to fully immerse yourself in the stylistic world created by Greg Pryjmachuk.

Take control of the wheel and venture across a Europe that’s slowly falling to pieces. Use your keen sense of scavenging to find fuel and keep your vehicle moving. Traverse roads that, much like your bank account, are full of holes, which slowly wreck your pride and joy. Have your manual handy to make sure you can perform any maintenance on your car, which are likely to be a painful regular occurrence. Be sure to pack plenty of fuel because it’s a long walk to the nearest station!

In hard times the clever man can make himself rich, if you feel that this speaks to you then take control of the smuggling industry or scavenge any old parts you find and sell them on for a profit. With capitalism arriving the world is your oyster and all you need to do is reach out and take it.

Into the Stars Official Launch Date

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Los Angeles – February 16, 2016 –The countdown to launch has commenced for the Early Access departure of Into The Stars, the space simulation game from Iceberg Interactive and Los Angeles-based independent video game developer Fugitive Games. Into The Stars will blast off from Steam’s Early Access Program and officially launch on March 4 at an SRP of $19.99. To mark the occasion, Into The Stars is available this week at 33% off during its final sale in Early Access. Those interested in playing Into The Stars can download the game at http://store.steampowered.com/app/360510/.

Into the Stars is an open-world space survival simulation built in Unreal Engine 4 that has players take on the role of Captain as they explore a massive star system in search of a new home for humanity. With each journey, players will outfit their ships, hand pick their crew and set off on a voyage where they must scavenge resources, shelter civilians and outrun a hostile alien force in order to survive.

“Since launching into Early Access we’ve received solid feedback from the gaming community, and with their help we’ve fine tuned Into The Stars’ massive world to provide a compelling experience,” said Ben Jones, development director at Fugitive Games. “With distinctive gameplay and replayability that will challenge players for hours, we think the final version of Into The Stars will thrill those who supported us through Kickstarter and Early Access, as well as anyone discovering the game for the first time.”

The debut title for Fugitive Games, Into The Stars has already earned critical acclaim by receiving the Best-in-Play award at the 2015 Game Developer’s Conference. Into The Stars also raised 130 percent of its target goal on Kickstarter and features a captivating soundtrack from renowned composer Jack Wall.

To keep up with the latest news regarding Into The Stars, visit the official website or follow both Fugitive Games and Iceberg Interactive on Twitter.

Punch Club – A Review (PC)

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Unlike that other fighting club, we are not breaking any rules by reviewing and discussing Lazy Bear Games’ newest creation, Punch Club.  Punch Club is a life management role playing game, where you take control of every aspect of your fighter’s life, from what he eats to how much he trains.  The only time you don’t control your fighter’s every action is when he actually has to fight.  The fights are completely run by the game’s artificial intelligence, based on the tactics pre-selected by the player and the stats that your fighter possesses.  Is Punch Club any good?  Let’s take a closer look.

Story

Punch Club’s story line begins as many stories do, with the brutal murder of your father before your eyes.  In order to discover your father’s killer, you must rise in the ranks of fighters, choosing different paths that are open to you along the way.  Along the way, you will have to juggle all of life’s varied obstacles, including friendships, love life, training, work, and recreation.  Finding that fine balance in Punch Club is what the game is all about.

Punch Club is full of 80’s and 90’s nostalgia bits, and the story line fits that feel perfectly.  Punch Club feels like a martial arts movie from the late 80’s:  murdered father, training montages, working your way up through the ranks of generic bad guys, finding love along the way and finally ending with a boss fight to gain vengeance.  Lazy Bear Games went for a nostalgia piece, and it works just fine.  While it’s not perfect in any sense of the word, with some of the humor just feeling forced or off a bit, Punch Club’s story line is great and fits the feeling that the developers were aiming for.

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Game Play

I called Punch Club a “life management role playing game” in the intro, and that description fits the game perfectly.  In Punch Club, you have to manage your fighter’s daily life and choose what to focus on during the time you have each day.  In the beginning, that’s fairly simple.  If you hungry, eat.  If you don’t have any money, go to work.  However, just like life, the game gets more complicated when you have more obligations to manage.  Do you spend time with your friends or your love?  You need money to go out, but you haven’t eaten in a while.  To make these choices even more crucial, your states will deplete if you are not training enough, so you constantly have to maintain what you have worked on.

When you train, you will get to focus on one of three stats:  strength, stamina, or agility.  Some exercises will increase small amounts of two stats, but it isn’t very efficient when you factor in your time management.  You pretty much need to focus on one stat as a primary then one as a secondary, leaving the third stat almost untouched.  So you have to decide what type of fighter will you be?  Punches rely on strength, defense rely on agility, and stamina keeps you up and moving longer.

You have total control of your fighter, that is until it is fight time.  You get to select a few fight tactics that your fighter can use before the match begins, but once those are in place and you start the fight, then the a.i. takes over completely.  Whether you win or lose will be dependent on your tactics and your stats that you have trained in.  As you fail, and you will, then you have to decide what other stat or tactic would work better in that situation.

For the first few hours, I really enjoyed Punch Club’s game play.  I thought the life management game play was fun, and it was satisfying to see my hard work pay off.  The problem with Punch Club comes a little later, when you find yourself grinding for hours on end just to win one fight.  This makes the game absolutely no fun to play anymore and can lead to feelings of frustration and bitterness as you loose time and time again.  The shine and enjoyment that I felt in the beginning of Punch Club did not last throughout my time with the game.

Aesthetics

Because the developers were going for a retro style 80’s nostalgia piece, the game looks like it came out of that era as well, though much more defined graphically.  Punch Club has pixelated graphics that reinforce the feeling of nostalgia, without actually looking like an 80’s game.  I felt that the aesthetics of Punch Club fit the vibe of the game perfectly and did everything right, even down to the small little nods to popular culture you will find throughout the game.

Final Thoughts

Punch Club is a great game for the first few hours, then it turns into a complete grind fest that will try even the most die hard gamer.  In the beginning, your fighter’s life is easy to manage, and the fights are easy to train for.  As the game progresses, your life becomes a chaotic mess and the fights are brutal slug-fests that you are not prepared for.  My life is complicated as it is, I don’t really need to play a game that replicates that complexity.  I would still recommend the game for anyone who is looking for a game like Punch Club, because what is there is really well done.  Just be prepared to grind through the middle of the game.  Punch Club is available now through Steam for your PC.

 

Punch Club Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com