Archives for : SHMUP

Infinity Danger Review

Milkstone Studio’s Xbox Indie Game Infinity Danger is a game inspired by a free PC game by Hikware called Warning Forever. This shmup is simple in design, but is different every time you play. If your wondering why the title Infinity Danger is so similar to Warning Forever it was to give credit to their inspiration and attention to it as well. Infinity Danger is a game where you get to skip the hassle of a stage and go straight to the boss battle. Take a look at the beauty of both games (first image is Warning Forever, second image is Infinity Danger) and then read the rest of this review.

Infinity Danger is a game that was just meant for a console system with dual sticks. It’s one of the things Warning Forever was missing play style wise. In Infinity Danger you will fight boss after boss, with one stick controlling movement while the other controls your aim and fire. All the while you will use your LT and RT to widen the spread or shrink it for a more directed attack.

Infinity Danger is all about time. You gain time from destroying ship parts of the enemy ship while you lose time by being blown up.
You also gain time from defeating the boss. A match ends when you run out of time not lives. Your score and level of boss is then placed on the peer leaderboard.

Now what makes Infinity Danger and Warning Forever stand out as something different is you. Your playing style. The more you focus on certain tactics the more the next boss will have an add-on to prevent you from using that same tactic. For instance if you got right up next to the boss and just tore into it’s core, then upgrade before the next round may be to mobility so it and better run into or away from you. The four stats that it upgrades are as follows, mobility, armor, turrets, and shot. I find it is very partial to upgrading turrets and turning the match into a bullet hell game when I play.

The boss in Infinity Danger can have up to 7 different types of weapons placed all over its frame. Which seems to take on a different shape every time I played. This twin-stick shooter takes a bit of strategy to really move forward while avoiding the myriad of attacks, as well as the ship itself ramming into you. This game is fast playing action with a good leaderboard and easy jump in to play a quick match and come back anytime you want. A game never felt like it was so long that I was bored in anyway the changing style of the enemy ship seems to keep me interested in its next configuration.

Artistically I think they did a great job changing the game from a vector style game. According to Milkstone Studios they felt that XBLIG had enough vector style games and they want to make their ships and background more realistic. I think they accomplished that.

I give Infinity Danger a 5 out of 5 More than worth the dollar.

Now if your curious on my rating on Warning Forever, I would give it a 3 out of 5. Controls are very hard to use, and make it only enjoyable for very short periods of time. If you can just get Infinity Danger it’s enhancements and additions by far make it worth the dollar. Either way go get Warning Forever just to see why this game inspired them.

Legend of Fae, Sky Princess and Valdis Story Review

Endless Fluff is an indie PC game studio that has created two small games that are free to download and play and now has released their main title for sale. Since the two smaller games (Nimbus Sky Princess and Valdis Story) will be short reviews while Legend of Fae the game they are selling is larger, I decided to do this review with all three games together.

Nimbus Sky Princess is a shoot-em up released for free on their site. This little game is cute in ways as you fly horizontally shooting down enemy ships. The ship designs are nice looking. The game features power-ups and health packs to repair your ship as well as get better firepower. With boss ships to fight as well as common enemies the game is nicely done. This games biggest downside is it’s viewable size. There is no option to full screen the game or even enlarge the screen any. Now this wouldn’t be so bad if the screens default wasn’t so small. The plus size is it is a pretty good game and it is free. So download it and give it a shot

Ratings wise I give Nimbus Sky Princess a 3 out of 5, but as a free pc game trying it out doesn’t hurt anything.

Valdis Story is the second short fluff game. This game is a platformer action rpg for the pc. Though this game is a free game created by Endless Fluff I was completely surprised at how in depth the game really is. In this game a war between Angels and Demons is taking place and you play a character who develops both angelic and demonic powers. As you play you level up by grabbing experience balls dropped by enemies slain. Your skills level independently as well. Now to get you started in the game when you gain new abilities it will tell you how to use the new abilities and what they do.

The artwork is beautiful and the gameplay is smooth. Note when starting this game, press the “D” key for your enter button on the menu screen which allows you to play this game on three difficulty settings.. I’ll run down the key commands for you. “Q” is for bringing up the inventory/menu system. “D” is your attack key, “S” is your block key, the “Space bar” is your jump button and your directional keys are just that. Press F4 to full screen this game and enjoy this great game and its good soundtrack. Valdis Story supports save points and although they may call this game a short fluff it is definitely a game that will eat up a number of hours playing.

Valdis Story is definitely a 5 out of 5 in my book and being a free game it’s one no pc gamer should pass up.

Now on to the headline title, Legend of Fae. If you are into RPGs and Puzzle Games then this is definitely a game you should be taking a look at. This game has a fun story line divided into chapters and the chapters are separated into small levels. It is definitely worth trying out the demo. It’s a little hard to explain exactly how this game plays.

You make matches of 3 or more orbs vertically or horizontally this shatters those orbs and adds mana or magic power to that elemental meter. When an elemental  meter fills up the elemental will appear at the top of the screen where the battle is taking place. You can then click on the enemy to target and the elemental to make the magic attack. Their is more options available, but this is the most basic of battle premises. As you go on you will be able to upgrade the elementals’ spells that they use as well as give yourself new power options like healing using mana energy. Even between fights you can keep making orb matches to power up as well as walk through the stage.

All the while a nice little story unfolds around you. This game is pretty in depth with attacks that will involve combining elementals to make stronger attacks, upgrading your abilities as well as unlocking more pages in a book that talks about the enemies you’ve fought. You can replay any stage you’ve played already and try to beat the expert points and the expert time to not only beat the stage but to have it get a check mark. The check marked stages really only seem to be for your benefit in knowing that you have beat it with the record time.

I’ve completed all of chapter one myself and with the amount of abilities still left to unlock it appears that there would have to be a decent amount of stages just to come close to allowing you to gain most of the abilities. With Valdis Story being considered a short game, Legend of Fae seems to be decently packed for it’s play. I was quickly drawn into this interesting RPG and played for many hours just to complete the first Chapter.

It’s asking price may seem high at 14.99 USD for digital download and 11.90 USD more if you want a CD Copy of the game. But considering how much many games on XBLA go for the asking price isn’t anything all that far fetched. The unique combination of gameplay mechanics makes this game definitely worth the downloading the demo.

I give Legend of Fae a 4 out of 5 in my opinion. I think this game is definitely a worthy addition to a pc gamers collection, but with its price tag I think it may be a little odd for some peoples taste. So check out their site give the demo a run and while your there pick up Nimbus Sky Princess and Valdis Story as well.

Warbirds at Work Review

Warbirds at Work is a shmup developed by Kaapedev. Warbirds is a vertical scrolling game where the object is to fight alien invaders. There is no storyline to the game as well as no end. It is definitely a game built for playing for you best score. The game has some nice features you won’t see in many other shmups, so we’ll start with that.

This game sports randomized levels. Which is pretty cool because you never know what background you’ll be fighting over of the 7 different backgrounds. I like the backgrounds for this game. It is always nice to have something a little different under your ship than just the black back drop of space. With 2 dozen enemies to go up against there is a good variety of appearance. I really like the detail put into all the ships, I personally just wish some were a little bigger.

Much like most shmups there are power-ups you can pick up from destroyed enemy ships. And early on you’ll have no problem powering up to a pretty beastly warbird. As long as you can see the power-ups. They are pretty small and with some of the backgrounds it can be really hard to see them. You have five different attack types your standard attack never runs out, but all the others you’ll need to pick up power-ups to replenish their ammo.

There is a lot to like about this game and if you’re looking for a new shmup to play this isn’t all bad. There are some aspects I was bothered by. I’ll go over them here as my warning on what to expect. The first thing I thought just felt so wrong was you’re basic fire as well as all enemy fire is just little dots. With ships as detailed as they are in this game you would expect that the bullets you would be dodging would be more than small dots that also tend to blend into some of the backgrounds. The second thing I was bothered by was at the end of every level is a boss fight. I would beat this “boss fight” without even realizing who the boss was. They look like the ships you already fight and only take a little more damage to destroy them. Which leads to the 3rd thing that I was bothered by and that is that I cold easily get to the 8th and 9th levels without dying once. Then when you do die you lose all your power-ups. What I found was by the time you get to those levels the enemies start to come in larger numbers and now you just start dying left and right trying to get power-ups to get back in the groove. I honestly just couldn’t do it. My final issue with the game is that there is no leaderboard online or locally. For a shmup highscores are what it is all about. When you can’t just look to see what your best score was and what you’re trying to beat It just feels like there is nothing to accomplish.

Overall the game isn’t bad, just stripped down in areas that seem odd when compared to other shmups on the indie marketplace. I really wanted to like this game more, especially with the levels always being different. If you are looking for another shmup that won’t cost you much, download the trial for this game.

3 out of 5 Worth at least a trial run.

Pellmell Review

Pellmell is an indie game by Sorcery Games that you probably didn’t even try. If you want to know what pellmell means it’s “in a confused haste”. So now that you have your new word of the day, lets get to how it relates to the game. This is a fast pased shmup where you play a guy running pellmell through the stages.

In Pellmell you can play arcade or co-op mode. The game supports up to 4 people locally and while I never got four people I did manage 3 and it was fun. Like any good shmup you have your power-ups, your various enemies, your goal to get the next stage and plenty of things to shoot at. You will also do some wall and floor trap jumping to add to your blasting away enemies.

Some really nice things you have to look forward to in this game is, your not in a ship. Your just a little guy running and shooting. Your looking at a floor instead of the blackness of space. Not too many shmups stray from the space route, but this one does it well. To boot this gem boasts 100 levels to play your way through. If you’re like me and you’re saying “There is no way I could complete that”. There is the wonderful feature of any level you’ve gotten to can be where you start the game.

Since power-ups are limited use in this game starting at a higher stage doesn’t effect what you at all. You won’t be starting out going oh man I’m so underpowered. You will have the same advantage you had the first time you played the stage. So think of it as a great little continue system that lets you replay any of the stages you beat or just get you back to where you left off.

I have to say I had the most fun playing this game with my girlfriend and son. As long as someone finishes the stage you all start up on the next one. Another nice thing is that there is bonus points awarded for reaching a certain score for that stage, you usually have to pass up the first stage exit to reach that point total, but don’t worry once you make it to a stage exit they start appearing pretty close to each other. You can also earn in game awards, an indie game may not have achievements but getting some of these awards are worth showing off.

If you like shmups you’ll like this, it’s fast paced. It has a good difficulty progression as well as the ability to up or lower the game difficulty as a whole. It also appeals a little to platformers in that you have the jumping obstacles that really hurt if you run into them. Okay so it’s not really a platformer but it has that little extra over your average shoot-em up. Local leaderboard to show your friends.as well.

For it’s little starter story, great gameplay, excellent varied enemies and the great time you’ll be sure to have playing it. My rating was an easy decision to make.

5 out of 5 in my book.

A Shooter Review

Okay “A Shooter” is a game by Sorcery Games for the Xbox Indie Marketplace. Yes, it is a schmup and yes the title pretty much says it all. You fly in your ship horizontally blasting your way through each stage. To me this game felt like it fell right from my old SNES Collection.

Graphically this game looks and feels like an SNES game. It’s simple design and game play make it real easy for people of any age to get into. I love that your not shooting at a bunch of asteroids or geometric shapes. You’re shooting at enemy ships, what appears to be mines and later on something that reminds me of a bunch of borg ships. The game has Arcade mode which is your single player option or cooperative where you can have up to 4 people blasting away with you.

One thing I really like is that on cooperative play its a little harder to make up for the added help. Another thing that is great is everyone sort of has one life. If anyone dies they are dead until at least one player makes it to the next level. Then they come back with full health, which is great when playing with others and they die on the first stage. If all players die that is it though. poof. Makes sense to me.

There are leaderboards for the game both local and online, but be happy if it ever syncs with someone. This game looks to have been over looked by most. Now I’ll give you my greif on the game. About the first 5 stages seem really really slow to me. Which I know most people won’t play past that point, and that is a shame since it gets better once you get to the harder stages. The bosses are a nice touch at the end of each stage, each with a different movement pattern and firing pattern.

Overall though I found the game to be quite enjoyable even if it’s not the best schmup out there.

4 out of 5

Break Limit Review – Winter Uprising

Zombie Monkey GamesBreak Limit is definitely a blast that should not be missed. This indie game is another entry to the Winter Uprising. This shmup is a speedy game with some interesting features.

First off the game has 2 systems to choose from with a third on the way with a future update. The systems are titled Alpha Centauri, Delta Orion and the final one yet to be released is Triton Omega. Delta Orion is vastly more difficult than Alpha Centauri. Although the systems alone are not the only difficulty. Each system can be played in Novice, Adept, Expert, and finally Master difficulty levels. To play Master difficulty you must first unlock it by beating the system on Expert mode.

This task is not easy, but is a blast doing it. Some of the features that set this shmup apart from others is that you can fire forward or you can use the right stick and fire in any directions. You also have the break limit ability. When you activate break limit a shielding appears in the front of your ship allowing you to plow your way through anything in front of you at a much faster speed than before. This ability is limited though and you’ll need to pick up energy to keep it charged.

The game starts as a vertical shooter, but at points within the system you can turn on to a horizontal path changing it to a horizontal shooter for a time going either left or right depending upon the path chosen. All the while every time you play, your highscore is added to the online leaderboards. The points you make during a play through also add to a leveling system that allows you to start with weapons and shields.

So the more you play the easier the initial difficulties get. Don’t get me wrong even with the update to make the game easier, Delta Orion is still really tough. You’ll need that extra boost from previous plays more than you think or you’ll be metallic wasp food before you know it. Get out there and work on your highscore.

Take this game out for a test flight it’s a lot more fun than you may think.
I give this a 5 out of 5.