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Hack and Slash

  • Arslan: The Warriors of Legend (Xbox One)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Arslan: The Warriors of Legend
    Developed by: Koei Tecmo
    Published by: Koei Tecmo
    Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One
    Release Date: February 9, 2016
    Genre: Hack and Slash
    Number of Players: Up to two players in online co-op
    ESRB Rating: Teen for blood, mild language, mild suggestive themes, violence
    Price: $49.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you One PR Studio for sending us this game to review!

    Arslan: The Warriors of Legend reenacts the first season of the popular anime, The Heroic Legend of Arslan.  If you have any interest in seeing the anime, you may want to hold off on playing this game because it will spoil much of it!  While the anime is very good, it does shed a negative light on religion and the Lusitanian faith resembles Christianity in some aspects.

    For those who are not familiar with the anime it revolves around a young prince, Arslan who lives in the flourishing Pars empire.  The king (or Shah as he’s referred to in this game), Andragoras III, has never been defeated in battle and is deeply in love with his beautiful queen, Tahamine.  Sadly, Arslan doesn’t get shown much affection as both parents keep him at arm’s length. 

    Regardless of what the king and queen feel towards Arslan, he wants the best for his kingdom.  Pars has many slaves, referred to as gholams, and they are an integral part of their economy.  When the Lusitanian army invades Pars and promises the slaves freedom, they start attacking the Parsians from within their stronghold.  King Andragoras III is captured in battle and taken prisoner.  On the battlefield Arslan is nearly killed by a traitor, but is rescued by the great warrior, Daryun.  Together they flee for safety and try to gather allies to reclaim the Parsian empire and save soldiers and loved ones from the Lusitanians.

     

    Arslan: The Warriors of Legend
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Unrealistic but fun battle system, based off of a good anime and uses the same (Japanese) voice actors
    Weak Points: The cut scenes often stutter; nobody to play online with
    Moral Warnings: Violence and bloodshed with much of it done to non-believers of the Lusitanian faith; religion is shown in a negative light; a couple of characters are womanizers; some females wear revealing clothing that shows off their cleavage; language

    Like the anime, this game begins with Arslan in his tweens studying self-defense and battle techniques.  Though the anime portrays him as a reluctant fighter, he’s a force to be reckoned with in this title.  You start off playing as Arslan, but other allies of his quickly unlock as the story progresses.  No matter who you play as, the battles are so much fun as you can send thirty or more soldiers flying with a mere swipe of your sword.  Trampling on them while you’re on horseback is entertaining as well.  The battle system is over-the-top, but extremely fun.  My least favorite characters to play were the archer based units (Alfarid, Elam, Farangis).  While all of the melee characters are powerful, my favorites are Narsus for his paint brush attacks and Kishward for his dual wielding sword assaults.

    Many of the missions are action packed with thousands of enemies to slice through to reach various checkpoints.  You are scored by how fast you get to the checkpoints and by how many enemies you have KO’d along the way.  There are often mini-boss class generals and gate keepers that have to be taken out to open new sections of the map.  Sometimes there are obstacles like blockades in place that have to be removed with more force than usual.  That’s where rush zones come in.  Rush zones will often appear and when your character enters one, their army will form into a powerful blue tornado that will instantly KO any enemy it comes into contact with along with any obstacles.

    Not surprisingly, bosses will need more than a rush zone to take them out.  The bosses often have powerful attacks that can temporarily stun your character.  Another ability they have is forming a barrier that freezes their health bar until the barrier is destroyed.  Some of the bosses are easier to take down than others and you are scored by how fast you’re able to do so.

     

    Arslan: The Warriors of Legend
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 74%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability -3/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 60%
    Violence - 5/10
    Language - 7/10
    Sexual Content - 3.5/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

    If you’re struggling with bosses or battles in general, you can buff your characters with skill cards.  Equipping these skill cards can enhance their stats further.  Once a character is playable in a story mission, they also will become unlocked in the free play and online game modes.  You can play cooperatively with another player online if you know of anyone who plays this game.  Sadly, I was unable to find any games to join.  The free play scenarios let you play missions from different character’s perspectives and if you’ve been collecting recipes, Elam can cook some meals to buff your characters beforehand.  Free play and online modes are the only way to play some of the nemesis characters like Hilmes (called Hermes in the anime).

    The 3D cell shaded graphics look fantastic and resemble the anime in many ways. While the battle scenes ran well on my Xbox One, the cut scenes often stuttered and slowed down at times.  There are some violent scenes and bloodshed (much of it is done for religious reasons). Some profanity is used during battle (though it is subtitled).  Last but not least, a few of the females are well endowed and don’t have any problems flaunting their assets.  

    In the end, I enjoyed playing Arslan: The Warriors of Legend though I’m disappointed in the lack of people to play with online.  The performance issues are disheartening as well.  Because of those combined issues, I don’t recommend paying full price for this title. If you're already familiar with the anime and don't mind the negative connotations about religion portrayed in it, you'll probably enjoy this game.  

     

  • Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star (Vita)

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    Game Info:

    Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star
    Developed by: Marvelous
    Published by: Marvelous
    Release date: January 17, 2017
    Available on: PS4, Vita
    Genre: Hack 'n slash
    Number of players: Single-player
    ESRB Rating: Teen for fantasy violence, language, partial nudity, suggestive themes, alcohol reference
    Price: $48.00
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you XSEED for sending us this game to review!

    The Fate series started off as a visual novel game and has since branched off into several anime series and video games.  The premise revolves around the Holy Grail Wars which brings together heroic spirits and magic wielding humans to compete to win the coveted artifact.  The victors get to have a wish of theirs granted.  The humans command the spiritual servants who are typically famous heroes of the past.  If the servants do not obey, the masters can use one of three command seals to force their will to be done.

    Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star takes place in a futuristic and digitized environment where the human that you name and assign a gender to is in charge of a Saber class servant who used to be the Roman emperor, Nero Claudius.  The servant is female so if you choose a female human it may get a bit awkward as the relationship these two have is very close and strongly hints they used to be romantically involved.  There are bathing scenes but no sex scenes.  

    Your character and Nero were victors in the Moon Cell Automaton battle, which is the equivalent of the Holy Grail battles.  Nero now wants to rule all of the territories that SE.RA.PH (Serial Phantasm) creates.  She’s not the only servant out there with the same ambition; the other servants and their masters need to be defeated to make this happen, and that is your goal in her storyline.  Nero isn’t alone and has a few generals to aide her in her battles along the way.

    Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: A futuristic combination of the Fate anime series and Dynasty Warriors gameplay; cross saves
    Weak Points: Gameplay can get repetitive; Japanese voice acting
    Moral Warnings: Although it’s a digital battlefield, you’re still mowing over lots of foes in battle; references to sake; same sex relationships; bath scenes; language (sh*t, d*mn, *ss, OMG)

    If you have played a Dynasty Warriors game you’ll know what to do, but the futuristic atmosphere will take a little getting used to.  Your main objective is to take down the boss of the level, but in order for them to appear, you have to control a majority of the sectors.  If the enemy takes control of the map, you’ll fail the mission.

    In order to take control of a sector you’ll have to hack your way through swarms of drones until tougher versions called aggressors appear.  When all of the aggressors are disposed of, you’ll then have ownership of that area until the enemy tries to take it back.  How efficient they are at doing so depends on the level of difficulty you’re playing at.  The normal mode provides a challenge while the easy mode is a cakewalk.  I haven’t played on hard since my level was usually below the recommendation.  If you ever need to level up your characters, you can do a Free Battle and fight against characters that you have already unlocked through the story mode campaigns.

    Nero’s campaign consists of a handful of battles and only takes a few hours to complete.  As you play through her campaign, the stories of other servants unlock and you can learn about their roles in this new universe too.  As you meet and battle new bosses, they will become available to fight against in the Free Battle mode.  

    There’s plenty to unlock in this game besides characters.  There’s a gallery mode where you can view the stats and hear the dialogue of various servants, re-watch cutscenes, listen to background music, or read up on the characters and abilities that they have unlocked.  

    As you talk with your servant or battle with the generals, you can increase your bond with them which unlocks the ability for them to equip various abilities and buffs.  You can increase their speed, defense, or assign an elemental or poison ability to their attack.   In order to raise your bond with your generals you have to meet side objectives in battle.  Sometimes the objectives require you to consume a certain number of loaves of bread or sake.  Other times you’ll have to beat a specified number of foes or achieve a high combo amount.

    Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 78%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 57%
    Violence - 6/10
    Language - 2.5/10
    Sexual Content - 0/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Each servant type has a unique weapon and fighting style.  The button configuration for combo attacks is different for each character as well.  As long as you keep pressing buttons, you’ll do fine.  Their powerful attacks become available as the battle meter charges up and it’s worth saving your special moves for the bosses and generals.  If you fall in battle, you can use a command seal to revive your servant or spend all three command seals to bring them back with more power.  

    Many of the fancy attacks look amazing, but the cutscenes get a little repetitive at times.  Thankfully you can skip the drawn out attack moves.  The graphics looked and ran great on my Vita and I enjoyed playing this game on the go.  While I didn’t take advantage of it, there is cross save support if you own the PS4 version as well.  There is DLC available, which is cross buy for both systems.

    The background music is good and I enjoyed the songs sung by the singing diva servant.  Sadly, since all of the voice acting is in Japanese, I had to rely on the subtitles to understand what’s happening.  Since there’s so much going on in the heat of battle, I couldn’t focus on the subtitles too much and missed out on a good majority of the dialogue.  While the Japanese voice acting is solid, I would have enjoyed it more in my native language.  

    Like many hack 'n slash titles, violence is a given.  Since this is a digitized environment, the defeated parties break up into bits and disintegrate when bested in battle.  There’s a bit of language used throughout the game.  Given that my female character was referred to as a husband on occasion, I think that this game expects you to play as a male.  I certainly would have felt less awkward if I did given the close relationship between Nero and her master.  Again, while nothing is seen, there are some skimpy outfits on some of females characters. The last boss is completely topless, but details like nipples are not noticeable.  

    In the end, Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star is a fun hack 'n slash style game set in a futuristic Fate universe.  The story isn’t super compelling and battles do get a little repetitive after a while, but it’s still a great game to pick up and play occasionally.  If you don’t mind the suggestive dialogue and language, there’s a lot of stuff to enjoy and unlock in this title.  If you like the Fate anime series and Dynasty Warrior games, then this game is worth picking up on sale.

     

  • Gotta Protectors (3DS)

     

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    Game Info:

    Gotta Protectors
    Developed by: Ancient 
    Published by: Ancient
    Release date: July 28, 2016
    Available on: 3DS
    Genre: Hack n' slash/Tower Defense
    Number of players: Up to four players
    ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ for Fantasy violence and suggestive themes
    Price: $12.99

    Thank you Ancient for sending us a review code for this game!

    Gotta Protectors is an 8-bit themed hack n' slash with tower defense elements that’s a sequel to Protect Me Knight.  The prequel was released in 2010 for the Xbox 360.   Gotta Protectors was originally released in Japan in 2014 and thankfully it arrived in the United States two years later. 

    The premise is similar to the original game, but now there are six warriors called upon to protect Princess Lola.  These quirky but strong warriors include a fighter, an amazon warrior, a ninja, a mage, an old guy, and an archer.  Each warrior has different strengths and weaknesses in regards to power, health, speed, and magic.  

    Like many tower defense games, you have to set up turrets and blockades to withstand attacks from swarms of monsters.  There are two kinds of monster spawners: limited and infinite.  The limited spawners will eventually go away, but in order to complete a level, all of the enemies and spawners must be eliminated.   Many of the one-hundred story levels have blocked off areas that must be opened by finding the similarly colored key.  Whenever you unlock a new area it’s pretty much guaranteed that new spawners will appear on the map.

    Gotta Protectors
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Funny dialogue and characters; download play; map editor; excellent music
    Weak Points: Hard to find the map editor; inconsistent difficulty ratings on levels as some marked hard are actually pretty easy
    Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence; skimpy outfits on male and female characters (they are the source of many jokes)

    There are a wide variety of enemies including goblins, skeletons, minotaurs, succubus, dark knights, zombies and werebears.  Stronger variants of the monsters will also spawn and they are recognizable by their different coloring.  Bosses and mini-bosses are not to be underestimated with their increased health and strength that enables them to move and destroy your defenses quickly.  

    With one-hundred levels and the ability to create your own with the hard to find level editor, there’s plenty of variety and lots to do in this $12.99 title.  The map editor is in the fighting menu and you have to select user maps instead of the story chapters.  Once you get into the map editor it’s pretty easy to use and share your maps via co-op play or through QR codes.

    Co-op play is fun and download play lets people join your session even if they don’t own the game (yet).  The download version is only limited to two playable characters, but it’s enough to get a good feel for the game.  As a tower defense game, Gotta Protectors won’t disappoint.  What won me over was its sense of humor and warm fuzzies that it gave me as an old school gamer.  

    Gotta Protectors
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 88%
    Gameplay - 19/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 10/10
    Stability - 4/5
    Controls - 4/5

    Morality Score - 80%
    Violence - 7/10
    Language - 8/10
    Sexual Content - 6.5/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 8.5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    For gamers who have played games on the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Gotta Protectors will push many of the right buttons for you.  It’s been a while since I have had to blow into a game to get it to function properly.  When you first launch Gotta Protectors it will ask you to blow into the microphone to launch the game.  You can skip this “feature” by pressing the start button, but I’ll admit that I played along the first time around.  My son didn’t realize this step was optional and is now familiar with this long forgotten ritual.

    The 8-bit graphics and low quality voice acting are also fitting to the retro theme.  The background music is excellent and is composed by Yuzo Koshiro (Ys, Etrian Odyssey, 7th Dragon).  There’s a $7.99 DLC option to purchase a higher definition version of the game’s soundtrack.  

    Aside from the hard to find map editor, and a glitch where a boss didn’t leave the screen once defeated, my 18.5 hours of playing this game have been fun.  After completing the story on the easy or normal mode, a hard difficulty becomes available.  If the awards/achievements are any indication, there is also a hell difficulty level.  A music player also becomes unlocked after your first play-through.   Overall, Gotta Protectors is a great game with a quirky sense of humor.  If you enjoy hack n' slash or tower defense games, this is a must buy for your digital 3DS library.  

     

  • Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)

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    Game Info:

    Hyrule Warriors
    Developed By: Omega Force/Team Ninja
    Published By: Nintendo
    Released: September 26, 2014
    Available On: Wii U
    Genre: Action
    ESRB Rating: Teen: fantasy violence, suggestive themes
    Number of Players: 1-2 offline 
    Price: $48.00
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Coinciding with the Japanese release of Skyward Sword in 2011, Nintendo released the Hyrule Historia, a nearly 300-page book detailing the internal and external workings of the Legend of Zelda series. Included within was the long-awaited timeline of the then-25 year old series, specifying the relations between each of the Zelda games from the NES to the Wii, both firmly connecting and officially separating each story from the others. One of the intended effects of the Historia was to solidify the internal chronology of the series. One of the side effects, realized three years later, was to allow the Zelda series to become what may be the first video game franchise to crossover with itself.

    Hyrule Warriors is a hack-and-slash action game in the style of the long-running Dynasty Warriors series, featuring a brand new story within the Legend of Zelda timeline. The story, as usual, focuses on Link, this time a recruit within Hyrule’s army. A horde of well-organized monsters pour into Hyrule without warning, and in the ensuing chaos, Princess Zelda goes missing. With the army at his back, Link teams up with Zelda’s bodyguard Impa and a mysterious magician named Lana to push back the evil tide, find Zelda, and eventually restore the timeline as a whole – with the help of some familiar faces.

    For those unfamiliar with Dynasty Warriors, the combat is fairly simple. The Y button is your light attack, and offers a simple attack combo when repeatedly pressed. The X button is the heavy attack; when pressed first, it performs a unique command depending on the character you’re playing, usually either a strong attack or a buff of some kind. In addition, pressing X while in the middle of a combo makes your character perform a finisher move, with different properties depending on when in the combo you activated it. For Link, pressing X after a single Y attack makes him perform a short-range launching slash, while X after two Y attacks has him shoot a beam of energy. 

    Your two defensive options are a quick dodge, which offers invincibility and lets your character sprint when held down, and a block, which defends against enemies in front of you but harder to counterattack from. Defeating enemies fills your special attack gauge; upon activation, time freezes as your warrior performs a powerful, wide-ranged attack. There is also a magic bar, filled with bottles dropped from stronger enemies, that makes your character much stronger and faster when used. Finally, there are Zelda-themed sub-weapons, such as bombs or the hookshot, available for use at any time, which are used mostly for utility or for revealing boss character weak points.

    In general, each mission involves either taking the enemy’s keeps by defeating enemies within or routing the enemy’s generals, while protecting your own strongholds and allies. For the most part, the game pits you against simple cannon fodder that pose little if any threat. Most of these groups are led by a stronger monster from the Zelda series, such as Lizalfos or ReDeads, which offer a greater challenge. Bosses take the form of the AI-controlled playable roster, who attack you with the same moveset you use while playing as them, and giant monsters like King Dodongo and Gohma, who are only vulnerable to a specific sub-weapon after attacking. Baiting these stronger foes into attacking will reveal their “weak point gauge”, a white circle above their heads that depletes when attacked. Fully depleting this gauge will allow for a “weak point smash”, an extremely powerful attack that is usually your best, and occasionally your only, option for victory. These bosses rarely fight alone in later stages of the game, so spatial awareness is key to survival. The enemy variety, together with the game’s quick pace and intuitive controls, form a solid, entertaining foundation that the rest of the game builds on.

    Hyrule Warriors
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Satisfying combat; lots of content
    Weak Points: Balance issues; repetitive and grindy towards the end
    Moral Warnings: Violence; revealing clothing; suggestive demeanor

    The playable roster in this game is a thing of beauty. Series mainstays Link, Zelda, Impa, and Ganondorf return, tailored to Hyrule Warriors’ visual style and story. Lana represents the base game’s sole playable original character, but DLC opens up the main villain trio of Cia, Volga, and Wizzro for use as well. The game, for both its story and its roster, pulls the major supporting cast from Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword into the fray: Sheik, Darunia, Ruto, Midna, Agitha, Zant, Fi and Ghirahim all make an appearance. The DLC adds even more characters from even more games to the mix, from Majora’s Mask’s Young Link to Wind Waker’s Medli to the ever-popular Tingle. If that wasn’t enough, Link, Zelda, Impa, and Lana have different, entirely unique movesets available: Zelda, for instance, has access to the quick, close-ranged rapier or the slower, long-ranged Wind Waker-styled baton. No two weapon sets play alike, and the sheer amount of movesets can keep the game fresh for a long time.

    Outside of the story mode, Hyrule Warriors contains an “adventure mode”, a series of battles with their own win conditions set on the full map from the original Legend of Zelda. This mode contains most of the unlockables: different weapons, stronger versions of those weapons, character costumes, and heart containers. Some of these are hidden, and require searching the relevant sectors of the map with items won from these missions – you might need to burn a random tree with a candle to open the chance to win the unlockable for that battle. If you remember the original Zelda game, you’re in luck, because each “puzzle” on the adventure map coincides with secrets from the NES classic; otherwise, special “compass” items reveal the location of the hidden item. The unfortunate side effect is that you will eventually have to replay stages just to get these map items, which adds a layer of repetition and grind on top of an otherwise novel mode. 

    Still, though there is a limited pool of mission types available – you’ll see four of five “defeat the giant bosses within the time limit” missions, for example – the variety in character choice, map type, and enemy makeup alleviate the issues. The DLC maps add their own twists, both in the main gameplay and overworld puzzles, so there is certainly plenty of variety to keep you interested. There are even hunts for gold skulltulas, which appear when special conditions are met, and unlock even more, fully unique missions along with some artwork, so some missions offer something new even on replays.

    Some adventure mode maps will lock you to a character and weapon, and with the entire roster to choose from, inevitably you’ll be forced to use an underleveled warrior. There is also the extensive character upgrade system, which unlocks combos, a bigger special meter, stronger defenses, and the like using dropped materials and rupees from enemies, with three upgrade trees for each warrior. While there is a way to advance a character’s level using rupees, you will have to grind at some point, usually with a character you don’t like to use. For the likes of Link, it’s a little easier; with seven weapons to choose from, you can level him using a weapon you like to prepare for a challenge using one you don’t. For most, however, you’re stuck grinding for either money or experience, which can turn the game into a bit of a slog. This isn’t so bad in the base game, but with the DLCs and their three new, higher-level adventure maps, getting each character to the base level cap of 100 alone is a chore, and getting them all to the DLC cap of 255 can take weeks. 

    Sadly, this is necessary to get A ranks on every mission, as the final two DLC adventure maps balloon the damage you take to ridiculous amounts; if even one common monster gets a whack in, prepare to lose four hearts worth of health, and most A ranks limit you to 8 hearts of damage total. Since A ranks are required for unlocking parts of the map as well as new items, this is less optional than you might think. Don’t expect your AI allies to help you, either – both the foot soldiers and the generals on your side are functionally useless, even when you stick around to babysit them. The enemy AI has no such problem, and will attack key points on the map with fervor; without your intervention, your side will lose almost every time. There is the rare treat when one of your allies does something useful, but 99% of the time it’s all up to you to do everything.

    Hyrule Warriors
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 81%
    Gameplay - 15/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
    Stability - 4.5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 84%
    Violence - 7.5/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 6/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 8.5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Beyond the level system, you collect weapons as you play the game; each base weapon type has three varieties with ascending levels of power. Weapons also come with anywhere from one to eight slots, in which passive abilities can be placed. These range from making specific combo attacks stronger to a flat damage boost for your special attack to making your warrior attack faster. While a neat system, this does add one more layer of grind, as getting the strongest weapon with the most slots, along with filling those slots with useful abilities, can take a while. In addition, some abilities only unlock after defeating a certain amount of enemies – anywhere from 1,000 to 25,000. It’s barely noticeable if you’re playing with your favorite character, but again, the grind will likely be with a neglected one. 

    The upside to this is that you can obtain levels, money, and weapons all at the same time, and the game offers an “apothecary” menu to buff experience, money, weapon drops, weapon slot numbers, and so on using materials. Unfortunately, there is no potion that makes your least favorite warrior fun to play. While no warrior is useless, there is a wide gap in power between the best and worst characters that only gets worse the longer you play. If your least favorite character happens to be one of the weaker ones as well, you’re in for a long grind. 

    That said, combat as a whole is flashy and smooth, and effortlessly tearing apart an enemy army never truly gets old. The story mode eases you into the different characters, and has four difficulty modes to choose from – the final one is tailored for high-level characters, so you can replay the story and still face a challenge. Voices are mostly limited to the classic Zelda grunts and shouts, though the story missions are fully narrated by a somewhat bored-sounding woman. The many playable maps invoke the older games nicely, from the red rocks of Death Mountain to the bright darkness of the Twilight Realm; the smooth graphics and pleasing art style go a long way in making each area look its best. The music is mostly remixes of familiar songs, and all are very nicely done – though there is one song that is essentially a short loop of a single note repeated over and over that can grate on your ears after a while. 

    The game runs at 720p and 60fps; the latter is surprisingly resilient to drops even with lots of enemies displayed, but once you fill the screen with particle-heavy attacks, you’ll see the framerate dip well below 30. A well-designed user interface and snappy load times ensure that you’ll spend far more time playing the game than looking at menus. The game is filled to the brim with traditional Zelda series details, from the treasure chest opening sequences to items coming out of cut grass. Overall, the presentation of the game is clean and polished, and the audio and visual feedback it gives you goes a long way to making combat feel fun even after dozens of hours.

    There is a significant amount of downloadable content for the game, but not all of it is created equal. The three main packs, themed on Master Quest, Twilight Princess, and Majora’s Mask, unlock a few characters, costumes, and a full adventure map each; there’s also a season pass to get all of them for a lower price. That season pass does not include the later DLC, which only contain new characters and costumes. Additionally, one of Link’s weapons, the spinner, is only available through connecting his amiibo with the game, which in practice makes it the most expensive DLC in the game if you don’t plan to use the amiibo for anything else. Zelda series amiibo will give you character-specific weapons once a day when paired; others will give you random weapons, materials, or rupees. Overall, the season pass gets you the most value for your money, with the other packs being of lesser importance.

    Morally, Hyrule Warriors stands up as well as any other action game. Bloodless violence is the main feature, but every enemy is “defeated” rather than killed, and either visually retreat or disappear in a puff of smoke and rupees. Other than the violence, a few characters wear revealing and/or tight clothing; the main villain, Cia, is the worst offender, and generally carries herself in a sexually suggestive way throughout the game. A few characters have access to standard fantasy magic, and one of the possible army types is comprised of skeletons and zombies, but the game doesn’t place any specific focus on either of them.

    In the end, Hyrule Warriors’ positives greatly outweigh its negatives. With a fast, fluid, and fun combat system and plenty to do with or without its DLC, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth well before the grind sets in. While the repetitious gameplay may turn some people away, fans of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors alike will find it a worthy addition to their respective series; for fans of both, this is a must-have. Just don’t ask where this game falls on the Zelda timeline – you’ll have to wait for the series’ 50th anniversary like everyone else.

    -Cadogan

     

  • Samurai Warriors 4 Empires (PS4)

     

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    Game Info:

    Samurai Warriors 4 Empires
    Developed by: Omega Force
    Published by: Koei Tecmo
    Release date: March 15, 2016
    Available on: PS3, PS4, Vita
    Number of players: Up to two
    Genre: Hack and slash
    ESRB Rating: Teen for mild violence, alcohol use, suggestive themes
    Price: $29.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Koei Tecmo for sending us this game to review!

    I must admit that I’m relatively new to the hack and slash genre, but the few games that I have played, I have enjoyed immensely.  Samurai Warriors 4 Empires is the first I have played in the series so I cannot comment on how it has changed from its predecessors.  The original Samurai Warriors game was released in 2004 and was successful in Japan while receiving mediocre reviews in the West due to its similarities with the Dynasty Warriors series.  Both games are 3D hack and slash titles where you face hordes of enemies and have the ability to take out hundreds of them with a mere stroke of your weapon.  

    There are several conquest campaigns that must be played in order and your goal is to have your clan dominate and unify Japan.  Each clan has a different story and starting conditions.  There are four difficulty levels ranging from easy to nightmare.  Custom characters can be created and I was surprised at the option to remove female warriors.  I thought playing as a female commander was great and never got tired of seeing her kick some serious butt.

    Winning conditions vary from unification, seizing a region, or taking control of a capital.  When an objective is met you can end the campaign or play on to further dominate the land.  If you’re not happy with the included campaigns, you can create your own scenarios in the Genesis mode.

    No matter how you play the basic principles remain the same.  There are two main segments: the political phase and the battle mode.  In the political mode you’ll get to see what happens around the land and plan accordingly.  You’ll be notified about clan alliances and annihilations as well as adverse weather conditions that impact troop mobility and health.  There are random earthquakes, blizzards, and plagues to pay attention to.  The harvest in your land may be scarce or plentiful and your troops rely on food and supplies to wage wars. 

    Samurai Warriors 4 Empires
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Fun battles and strategy system; good character development with interesting and sometimes humorous cutscenes
    Weak Points: No localization but there are subtitles
    Moral Warnings: Violence and minor language

    The amount of supplies you have determines the amount of time you have to conquer your enemy’s region.  The units you bring into battle determine the strength of your enemy’s defenses.  Whoever has more soldiers will have a significant advantage.  Your goal in battle is to take control of enemy bases and eventually take out the main base and its commanding officer.  The lesser officers are scattered throughout the battlefield and are more formidable than the swarms of soldiers that go flying with a measly flick of your weapon.  Some may find the battles repetitive, but I enjoyed the power rush and never got tired of it.

    After a victory you have the option of hiring or releasing conquered commanders.  Some of them will not join forces with you and will have to be released no matter what.  In order to retain hired ones, you must assign them to a territory.  

    Relationships play a significant role in this game as each officer has various strengths and weaknesses.  They also have different personalities and may clash with others.  For best results keep compatible units together in and outside of battles.  If you battle against the same commander numerous times, they will officially become your nemesis.  If you fight alongside officers or are in the same room as them in the main castle, your relationship with them will strengthen.  Officers can become friends, sworn allies, or even spouses.  As relationships develop various cutscenes will be shown and some of them are rather humorous.  

    Samurai Warriors 4 Empires
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 88%
    Gameplay - 18/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 78%
    Violence - 6/10
    Language - 7.5/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 5.5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    While there is more to this game than the battle mode, that was where I had the most fun.  The cutscenes are great and the character animations and detail is pretty good.  The battlefields have plenty of variety to offset the repetitive hacking and slashing.  The special attacks have lots of eye candy and look amazing.

    Though this game is voice acted, it’s all in Japanese.  I liked most of the voices, but a few of them sounded odd and made me wonder if some of the officers were eunuchs.  The Japanese style dance music was upbeat and got my adrenaline pumping.  You can unlock different background music tracks throughout the game.   

    When it comes to moral concerns there are a couple of things worth noting.  As the genre suggests there’s lots of hacking and slashing going on in the battle phase.  There isn’t any blood or gore and the bodies quickly disappear.  While there are a couple of bathing cutscenes, nothing is shown and the characters are always seen dressed in their battle armor.  There is some mild language with the word hell being uses a couple of times in the game. 

    If you enjoy hack and slash games, Samurai Warriors 4 Empires is a solid title worth considering.  The asking price of thirty dollars or less is very reasonable.  It ran well on my PS4 and given the swarms of soldiers in the battle field I wonder how well it runs on slower Vita or PS3 systems.  I do recommend this game to PS4 owners though.

     

  • Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada (PS4)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada
    Developed by: Koei Tecmo
    Published by: Koei Tecmo
    Available on: PS4, Windows
    Release date: May 23, 2017
    Genre: Hack and Slash
    Number of players: Single-player
    ESRB Rating: Teen for violence and mild suggestive themes
    Price: $49.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Koei Tecmo for sending us this game to review!

    Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada combines the tried and true hack and slash gameplay with the historic conquests of one of Japan’s greatest samurai, Yukimura Sanada. Before diving into his forty-eight year lifespan, you get to know his father Masayuki who was a threat on the battlefield with his fighting and off the battlefield for his strategizing. The allegiance of the Sanada clan has decided the fate of many wars, but those who had them in their service knew that their loyalty was fickle and could change with the tides of war.

    In total, there are sixteen chapters and an epilogue that can be played after the credits roll. I completed this game in under thirty hours and enjoyed most of my time re-enacting Japan’s 16th and 17th century battles. Each chapter will have a few battles and some story progression. Some of the battles are standalone while others are linked together. Completing objectives in one battle will open up possibilities for future ones.

    Besides storyline battles, later in the game you’ll come across secondary battles that tell the story of non-Sanada characters. These battles are not mandatory, but are still fun to play regardless. Most of the battles are won by weakening enemy morale through slaughtering them by the dozens and taking out their generals in the process. Morale can be further lowered by eliminating flag bearers and seizing control of their barracks. To clinch the battle, boss or bosses must be defeated within the time limit while sustaining minimal losses in your army.

    Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Great character development and fun battles; the exploration, farming, and fishing activities are relaxing 
    Weak Points: Additional weapon sets are available through DLC; the stealth missions and time based objectives are annoying
    Moral Warnings: Lots of war violence though not much blood is shown; some female characters dress provocatively; minor language (d*mn); rejecting authority figures

    There are some tactical battles where you have to lure generals to a specific point and escape in a short amount of time. My least favorite type of battles are stealth ones where you have to avoid patrol officers and work around their patrol pattern. Some of the sneaking battles are because you're disobeying an order from the Shogun. All of the battles have objectives that have to be met in order to secure a victory. Failure to do so will result in defeat, but any experience and levels earned will be kept.

    Outside of the battlefield, you can visit towns/castles to train various characters, befriend them with gifts, go fishing, plant crops, or make an offering to a Jizou statue. Townsfolk can give you quests that can be completed by exploring nearby areas. Exploring is a great way to acquire various items for upgrading your weapons at the blacksmith or making medicine in town. Once items are discovered, they will be available for purchase by merchants. If you befriend an NPC, they can accompany you while you explore. With conch shells you can unlock characters from previous game entries or ones that pass away in this title to go on exploration adventures with you.

    At the stables you can purchase various horses to ride into battle. Whatever horse or panda you buy will be available for partners to use as well. The same goes for any battle accessories you acquire and wear too. Be sure to visit the blacksmith often to upgrade the weapons your favorite characters use. With the proper ingredients you can boost their attack and range, as well as offer elemental damage like fire, Ice, lightning and so on. Later in the game you can duplicate a weapon and re-spec it with more slots to customize while carrying over the previous attributes.

    The different characters you can control have unique weapons and fighting styles. For example, the ninjas will have hyper (fast) attacks while there are some characters with powerful (but slower) or skill based attacks. The Sanadas have normal attacks which work pretty well as long as their weapons are upgraded. After winning a chain of battles, experience is awarded which can be used to quickly level up specific characters without having to take them on exploration trips or in battle. Be sure to upgrade their rage levels when the option to do so is available.

    Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 88%
    Gameplay - 17/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 9/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 73%
    Violence - 6/10
    Language - 7/10
    Sexual Content - 8.5/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

    In town, you can talk to various people and some of them will reward you with strategems for doing so. Strategems can also be earned in battle by completing goals like winning before a certain time or by taking out a boss with a special ability. Up to six strategems can be held at any given time. Most battles allow for you to spend strategem coins to gain advantages that make the battles a bit easier. For example, one battle required me to locate someone within five minutes. I failed the first time without using the stratagem. However, after spending a stratagem to have her blow a whistle, the battle was victorious and much less stressful.

    While there were some unpleasant battles, a majority of them were enjoyable. The ability to knock over people like dominoes on horseback never gets old. The smacking noises, background music, and Japanese voice acting is all well done. I got the battle music stuck in my head on occasion too.

    Visually this game is pretty good. The characters are nicely detailed though the females and some other characters don’t seem to age at all. Masayuki and Yukimura’s wives are never shown and represented in this game. Nobuyuki Sanada’s arranged marriage is the closest you’ll come to love and romance in this title. Many of the characters seem to walk around in extravagant outfits 24/7. One of the female characters is known for being a femme fatale and wears a seductive outfit to match per personality.

    The Sanada’s emblem of six coins represent the coins needed for safe passage in the afterlife on the river Sanzu. Offerings to the Jizou statue are optional and by doing so you have an option to get upgraded items if you win a three shell game. Though there is a lot of violence and death in this game, there is very little blood. My kids enjoyed watching this game and with the ability to KO fifty soldiers with one swing of my sword, I have to admit that it is quite entertaining to watch.

    Overall, Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is well worth the price of admission with its fun battle system and good story telling. If you enjoyed previous Samurai Warriors games then you’ll find a lot to like here as well. I have seen this game for less than $30 on Amazon and it’s definitely worth picking up if you enjoy hack and slash games.

  • Super Dungeon Bros (PS4)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Super Dungeon Bros
    Developed by: React Games
    Published by: Wired Productions
    Release date: November 1, 2016
    Available on: macOS, PS4, Windows, Xbox One
    Genre: Hack and Slash
    Number of players: Up to four
    ESRB Rating: E 10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood and Alcohol Reference
    Price: $14.95
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you React Games for sending us this game to review!

    Super Dungeon Bros is a 3D rock and roll themed hack and slash game where the dungeons are randomly generated when you play with up to three other players online or locally. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be anyone to play with online, so you’ll need to rely on friends to help you unlock the various areas and weapons available. If you prefer to play solo, you can still compete in the daily and weekly challenges.

    The rock and rollish brothers Axl, Lars, Freddie, and Ozzie are bored and get inspired to go dungeon crawling after listening to a record (with a five pointed star on it) that promises them fame and loot if they save the world and become rock legends. Not surprisingly, the background music is rock and roll and that’s pretty much the extent of the rock and roll theme.

    Super Dungeon Bros
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Daily and weekly challenges
    Weak Points: Nobody to play with online
    Moral Warnings: Kill or be killed in these dungeons filled with various undead and grotesque monsters; drinking brew restores your health; elemental powers/magic use; bloodshed and dismemberment

    In the beginning, there are only a handful of melee or ranged weapons to choose from. By exploring dungeons and collecting shards, you can purchase and unlock different helmets and weapons. There are four weapon classes: swords, hammers, wands, and crossbows. Each weapon class provides a unique combo attack. Besides your equipped weapon, you can throw objects and other players at enemies and bosses.

    There’s a decent variety of enemies including skeletons, spiders, flying eyeballs, bees, poison-spewing frog-like creatures, and plenty others to slice into bits. There are mini-bosses and regular bosses that have to be dealt with before advancing to the portal at the end of the level. The Dungeon Bros have multiple attacks at their disposal. There are regular attacks, heavy attacks, and the ultimate attack. The ultimate attack is very powerful, but limited to a couple of uses until it’s recharged. Sadly, it does not recharge on its own. Thankfully there are vending areas at the end of each level that let you replenish health, power bars, and life hearts. You can spend all your money there or save some of it to buy buffs for the next level.

    Super Dungeon Bros
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 76%
    Gameplay - 12/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 77%
    Violence - 6/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

    You begin the game with four lives and can buy more throughout your journey. Money can be found by smashing up vases and crates scattered throughout the levels. Treasure chests are often out of your way, but since they have healing brews and power-ups they’re definitely worth going after. You won’t want to linger since there’s a threat meter that slowly rises and sends waves of enemies when each segment fills up completely.

    I’m quite sure that the enemy difficulty scales to the number of players in the game. I did pretty well in the daily and weekly challenges, but didn’t get very far when I played alongside my brother and son. We got our butts handed to us before reaching any minor or major bosses.
    The visuals are colorful and there is a good amount of variety in the enemies and randomly generated levels. The challenges are obviously the same to everyone and your goal is to earn the highest score by staying alive and stacking up attack combos.

    It’s a shame that there is nobody to play with online. If you have friends to play along with or don’t mind solo challenges, then this game may be worth looking into if it goes on sale. Xbox Gold members were able to get this title for free when it first came out. The launch price was $19.99 and I’ve already seen it in clearance bins at the store.

  • Tyrfing Cycle |Vanilla| (PC)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Tyrfing Cycle |Vanilla|
    Developed By: Demon Sword Games
    Published By: 378 Publishing LTD
    Released: April 15, 2016
    Available On: Windows
    Genre: Hack and Slash
    ESRB Rating: N/A
    Number of Players: 1
    Price: $7.99

    Thanks to Demon Sword Games for the review key!

    Summoned by Thor, the berserker Hervor is given a task simple in concept but strenuous in execution. She is to chase down a man named Angantyr, who is rumored to be plotting against the gods – and who happens to be both Hervor’s father and the previous owner of her magic sword Tyrfing. As she travels to Helheim to discuss his whereabouts with Hel, the goddess of the dead, Hervor prepares for great honor or a grand death – though the second will escape her until the mysterious figure she’s bound to is through with her.

    Tyrfing Cycle is a side-scrolling hack-and-slash with light platforming and Roguelike elements. You control the aforementioned Hervor, cutting your way through semi-randomly generated levels: the game takes its rather expansive list of pre-built rooms and jams them together. Hervor starts with nothing but her sword Tyrfing, but picks up sidearm weapons, magic, armor pieces, liquid souls, and faerie helpers to up her arsenal. Each realm you visit – Helheim, Jotunheim, and (theoretically) Svartalfheim – consists of two full levels with a random end boss, and a third with only a harder, more complicated boss to fight. Dying at any point forces a restart, though you can usually power up Hervor for the next run depending on how well you did before.

    While the basic melee combat is fast-paced and entertaining, Hervor’s moveset with Tyrfing is rather limited, and one of her few attacks is vastly superior to the others. When combined with both the wealth of secondary attacks and the enemy design, however, combat becomes a thoroughly satisfying affair. Attack-wise, you can randomly find any of five magic spells, five sidearms, five faeries, nine souls, and nine pauldrons. The first two are player-activated attacks, either spitting an area-of-effect magic spell or tossing a ranged weapon like a boomerang or axe; the faeries attack nearby enemies with magic; and the souls and pauldrons offer passive buffs to Hervor, such as increased damage, double-jumping, or health and magic regeneration. In addition, you can unlock armors for Hervor that both change her look and come with some upgrades already in place, and depending on your last run’s progress you can have one to three choices of upgrades to start with. In short, there is certainly no shortage of options when it comes to the gameplay.

    Tyrfing Cycle |Vanilla|
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Combat is fast-paced and skill-based; lots of power-up options
    Weak Points: The power-ups are poorly explained; very, very buggy; abandoned for its similarly-named remake
    Moral Warnings: Steeped in Norse mythology; one loading screen type is a pentagram; a few skeletal enemies; bloody but corpseless violence; magic use; bikini armor

    Aiding in the combat is the enemy design; there are a decent variety of foes to face, and all are equal parts deadly and predictable. With few exceptions, every monster has the potential to rapidly drain Hervor’s health if you’re not paying attention, but all have set patterns and attack tells that make every attack avoidable. This applies to the bosses as well: there are over a dozen unique bosses in the game (and a few palette swaps), and every one is capable of both wiping the floor with you and being utterly demolished depending on the player’s familiarity and skill level. While some enemies are certainly easier than others, nearly all of them will keep you on your toes in one way or another, making for an engaging, satisfying experience. There’s a decent amount of content as well, with a boss rush mode and three loadout-based challenges, so there’s plenty to test your mettle and reflexes against.

    The controls do their job, with Hervor responding well but tending to be a little floaty with her jumps. This is, however, a game where a controller works much better than a keyboard. The keyboard controls are by no means bad – with the exception of the pause button being hidden away on the P key, all of Hervor’s actions are grouped together at the arrow keys, W, A, S, D, and E. However, the controller has one extra movement option that the keyboard doesn’t have, and is rather important to the flow of the game. On the keyboard, pressing A makes Hervor quickly cartwheel backwards, giving both speedy movement and invincibility frames; on the Xbox 360 controller, the two triggers act as the dodge buttons, sending Hervor left or right on command – meaning you can dash forwards as well. That, along with analog movement, makes the controller the superior option, though it’s by no means unplayable with the keyboard.

    Presentation-wise, Tyrfing Cycle is coherent and pleasing. The graphics are solid all-around, and while the animation on the enemies isn’t always the greatest, particular care was given to Hervor, who animates splendidly. The cutscenes at the beginning are done in a charming, well-drawn comic-book style, and it’s too bad that you can’t see them again without wiping your data completely. The music is low in number but high in quality, giving a sort of energetic, hard-rock backbeat to the action. Hervor has some light voice acting, limited to combat-related grunts and “die,” and this is both convincing and fitting to the character. There was a clear vision to this game’s style, and it comes through very competently.

    Tyrfing Cycle |Vanilla|
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 77%
    Gameplay - 16/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
    Stability - 2/5
    Controls - 4.5/5

    Morality Score - 69%
    Violence - 4/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 6.5/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9/10

    There are, unfortunately, two big issues dragging this game down. The first revolves around the power-ups: while the choices are there, the explanations are not. When you pick up an item in-game, it gives you a little description on the bottom of the screen – and this is the only time the game will tell you what an upgrade does. With magic and sidearms, it’s less of an issue, since you can just use them to figure out their effects. With the liquid souls and pauldrons, however, the text boxes are your only clues to their benefits. These are found rather rarely in the stages, and with nine each to choose from, it becomes rather unlikely that you’ll ever see one specific item pop up, save for those that are specifically dropped by enemies. Sure, you can extrapolate their uses though careful observation, but there really should be a menu screen detailing each power-up somewhere in the game.

    Second, and much more importantly, is the game’s stability. To put it simply, the game is buggy. The title screen takes a few seconds to respond to controls. Achievements exist, but don’t unlock. Selecting a liquid soul at the pre-run upgrade menu never actually gives it to you. Armor-specific upgrades sometimes, but not always, reappear after each level if you’ve replaced one with something else. Rooms don’t always fit together properly, sending Hervor into the floor or walls on the screen transition and potentially requiring a restart. The cutscene after the final boss of Helheim displays no graphics, only text boxes. Beating the first boss in Jotunheim doesn’t stop the boss music, eventually leading to it halting altogether. The game usually crashes somewhere in the second level of Jotunheim. The one time I made it to and defeated the boss of said second level, the game punted me back to the start of Helheim. You can’t quit the game – the “are you sure” box after selecting the option has “back” as the only choice, requiring you to manually close the game window. Don’t expect these to get fixed, either: the developer has moved on to the non-“Vanilla” version of the game, which looks to be a very similar, though apparently different, experience. It’s a shame to see such a promising game bogged down in bugs and potentially abandoned, but so it goes with Early Access.

    Like the hard-rock theme would suggest, Tyrfing Cycle has its fair share of morality issues. As you’d expect from a game named after a collection of Nordic legends, Tyrfing Cycle is heavy on Norse mythology, with every character and enemy taking direct or indirect reference to the tales. One of the loading screen variants is a pentagram, with the icons of the elemental magic spells the player can use dotting each point. A few enemies are undead, namely a skeletal dragon head and a giant skull boss. Violence is the main draw of the game, and everything, including Hervor, bursts into blood droplets upon death, though at least no corpses are left. Finally, though it depends on the armor selection, Hervor shows quite a lot of skin, with her default outfit being essentially a leather bikini – Hel, the only other humanoid character to make an appearance, isn’t covered much either. While it might not get as bad as it could, there’s still quite a bit to comb through before giving this one to younger or more sensitive types.

    Tyrfing Cycle is a game with immense, but ultimately squandered, promise. The game is great, to be sure, but only when it works – and it doesn’t work that often. If the bugs were cleaned up and/or the developer was more active, the $7.99 asking price would be a steal. As it is, though, it’s hard to recommend, especially with the pseudo-remake currently sitting at around half the price. For what it’s worth, though, you might want to check out the non-Vanilla version; if it picks up where this one left off, it’ll have a lot going for it.

    -Cadogan

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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