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Life is strange episode 4: Dark room continues where episode 3 left off, in an alternate timeline where chloe’s father is still alive and the consequences on reality that have occurred as a result of this single change.

Things in the new timeline are very different, effecting not only those around us but also max herself with her now being part of the vortex club and close friends with both nathan prescott and victoria chase. Although the game sends alternate texts on max’s phone (contradicting the fact that things held in max’s possession during time travel do not alter) we never get to explore what we could find out in our newly altered position instead spending the entire day with chloe and her unfortunate situation resulting from a car crash she never had when her father died in a car accident himself originally. This whole situation is creating heavy financial burden on her parents and a situation she wishes to leave in this timeline. A problem I had here, other than being forced to make a hefty decision which would have no consequence on our main timeline was the fact that after you have made the decision to either end her life or not you have such a long wait before you’re able to continue possibly forcing you to alter your decision feeling like the game pushed you one way or another, this has been fixed so the wait isn’t so ridiculously long now but at the time caused problems as I wanted a different decision to I ended up taking.

The rest of the episode revolves around obtaining evidence and finally chasing down whoever is responsible for rachel amber’s disappearance with far more vigor than has ever been placed into investigating before, which is unusual considering the timeline for the natural disaster being mere days away all effort goes into this rather than finding out what will cause the natural disasters being given via premonitions by max. Whether you’ve saved kate or not has little effect at this point in time, with her simply providing a text location for nathan’s room which you could find naturally and a minor visit where she appears happy and well now things have passed on a little.

Around the story you find a lot of clues which all seem heavily forced towards pointing at the prescott’s regardless of what evidence you’ve uncovered from previous episodes, what you’ve personally noticed, and who you blamed to the principal all have little effect when it comes to deciphering the information you gather. Although there are hints towards other people in all of the evidence factors you are forced to choose those which implicate nathan in order to progress, where I would have chased jefferson based on how he pushed kate onto the roof with his conversation just prior, and the dodgy phone-call he received just afterwards with a third party which wasn’t nathan who was in class talking to victoria at the time, and the fact that all of the facts we had gathered pointed to tw1np3aks car rather than nathan’s sex offender car that although it looks the same was not the car responsible with some noticeable differences.

Of course I’m not stating nathan had no involvement as he was being initiated into the ways by jefforson, but there are also severe disconsistencies with the fact that chloe woke up in nathan’s room after her attack and not in the dark room where evidently kate and rachel were taken, and how the farm bunker has nathan driving there but also how the paperwork scattered everywhere has bills from the prescotts but also letters to the prescotts in a contradicting manner scattered everywhere carelessly as though planted for evidence.

Another major inconsistency and problem is that in the photo with nathan and rachel either both are dead, or unconscious from drugs and it is not questioned who would be taking the photo so perfectly staged and arranged, yet after this nathan is seen in a photo burying her dead body, again by a third party. Nathan has disappeared by this point, likely after the confrontation with warren running to jefferson in a rage demanding something be done and possibly being taken care of or locked up in the dark room at the very least, yet we continue to receive text messages at least possibly from jefforson using his phone, but still making the timeline obscurities unusual.

On to the overarching factor of the coming apocalypse and how we awoke on the path to the lighthouse in the very first episode, previously it has been noted that this could all be part of a dream state while unconscious in the tornado itself but with the ending of this episode getting drugged by jefferson, far from being a first aider calling for max to “stay with me” while in the rewind it could actually be that the entire time we have been locked in the basement or unconscious on the path to the lighthouse dumped by jefferson after being used and abused. So there are alternatives for what is possibly going on and how we will see the ending pan out, but still fits the theme of reliving the events up to this moment in a way max’s brain can comprehend, inventing the time travel ability to explain being in the past up to this traumatic event rather than simply daydreaming the entire thing as we regain consciousness.

I look forward to seeing how episode 5 polarized turns out, and whether or not we will retain our rewind time travel abilities or if these will be gone, explained as being under the influence of drugs as opposed to the entire thing being made up in our heads, and whether everything we’ve done to this point truly has an influence as although some factors changed overall the whole point of trying to have things have a real meaning seems to have been missed overall. And will we ever find this missing laptop with cat pictures?

Get life is strange now and prepare for the finale and the end of the world
http://store.steampowered.com/app/319630

Dungeon League is a multiplayer Brawl/Sport game with a single screen of heated action for up to 4 players, currently in steam early access so things could change dramatically over time.

As it stands it is currently local co-op only (although the cooperative nature of the game should be in heavy parenthesis as it is more adversarial with different teams competing against each other for survival, coins and points. Currently there is a very limited number of gamemodes available but some have been noted like a ball sport which could be very interesting, and a quest mode to perform specific tasks, possibly with whichever team completes the objective first taking the win.

As it stands though it is a very promising game, with the usual cast of dungeon crawlers playable from the traditional warrior, mage and archer to engineers and brutes with possibly more to come. The tables are turned however instead of plundering the dungeon for loot and killing all creatures to take down the boss of the dungeon instead the dungeonkeeper itself seems to be in charge with the beasts controlling everything, sure there are the usual minions which spawn in hell bent on killing you, but that’s all part of the game taking down the heroes foolhardy enough to participate in the game to their inevitable demise. There is a good degree of humour in the interactions that play out in options and with the new training mode, and I expect these to carry across for any quest modes possibly focusing heavily on jokes against the heroes.

As for the gameplay itself everything feels smooth and correct, the monsters themselves feel paced well enough without being too hard or too easy, of course when you’re in free play mode by yourself it is easier to be swamped than if you had 4 players to take down the beasts. Don’t forget this is early access so if you have any suggestions you can let the developers know your idea’s and they can be sure to add them should they fit in well with the game and the direction the developers wish to take. My current suggestion may be that perhaps free play mode introduces boss monsters perhaps every 100 kills or allows for gradual randomized leveling up. And one or two suggestions that go without saying would be the ability to quit once inside the mode and to have some options for changing things like sound levels and full screen, but these are bound to be in development as we speak.

I would definitely recommend a purchase if you enjoy this style of game, and I would presume online multiplayer would become an option later but no guarantee’s as yet, if this changes I shall let you know, and in the meantime I hope to be able to get some people together for local co-op gameplay video’s to show off the game some more.

Check out Dungeon League for yourself on steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/362310

Following the pre alpha demo of lumini I highlighted we have a more recent alpha stage demo as the game gets closer to release, further from its initial stages this build has new area’s and the start of what appears to be a form of branching storyline and purpose towards an end goal.

With puzzles and the backgrounds still hinting towards some secret hidden in the depths and reviving not only the lumini by taking pollen from plants to the crystals but also growing fauna in the planet and restoring life to desolate area’s.

The alpha does have some frame rate issues which will undoubtedly be resolved ready for the final release, as optomisation tends to be a later process when everything has been prepared fully, this however does cause some issues with the puzzles with the turbines in particular being difficult to turn correctly due to input lag, do not expect this to be a problem in the main release however as there will undoubtedly be the usual options of minimising shadows, bloom and textures in order to optimise correctly to your setup especially when recording at the same time which is notorious for creating further framerate lag.

I may have neglected to point out that the final release will undoubtedly feature further lumini to unlock, some of which may be hidden in secret paths and be harder and unessential but may ultimately make progression and completing the game easier, and others again may perform useful actions such as lighting up darker area’s and depths, perhaps traversing the toxic skyline, going under water, and even moving rocks and scenery or planting grass spores in new locales.

Who is to say what other secrets are yet to be discovered and what the storyline could entail, but I am definately looking forward to seeing how the final game pans out and exploring all the world has to offer, obviousely the final game will have more open worlds and area’s that branch out in more diverse ways true to the format, but obviousely this would not be possible to demonstrate in an alpha demo which does not wish to show off everything the final game has to offer and ruin all of the secrets, perhaps it’s for the best I could never pass the turbines and maintain the secret of what lies beyond for you to discover.

Check out lumini on speelbaars.com to keep up to date with the latest information about release dates and teasers as they become available.

TorqueL went a little unnoticed as a steam release due to the new nature of the steam front page where instead of having a list of latest releases products get hidden behind layers of “curator content” and “recommended products” and by the time you do get down to where the releases are located it tends to be automatically set to “popular new releases” despite changing the setting, it always reverts to this, which is unfortunate because TorqueL was one of the games I wanted to show off so much I got permission to show the prototype in early form, if it wasn’t for the fact that the developer sent me a product key through youtube the release would have passed by completely unknown

As it stands the release was in january, and as I do not actively check that inbox this video has been delayed in being released due to late discovery.

The game itself remains higlhy polished, with smooth well designed totional control involving extending sides of your cube and rotating, using the physics of this to traverse over pits of death or difficult terrain in order to reach the exit. New features added since the prototype include things such as gravity flipping funnels, moving platforms and scenery of increasingly difficult nature to traverse, accross 50 chambers with 8 routes, one of which is noted to be very secret there are reasons to replay through, wether attempting to speed run through the game or traverse all of the routes possible.

Whatever route you choose the game is challenging and fun and if you enjoy puzzle games this is one that you wont want to miss, the mechanics of the rotation and physics of the extended limbs just feel so right and satisfying and must have been very difficult to programme, the object feels like it has a correct mass and weight every time you extend a limb, wether to help gain a rotation you couldn’t achieve before or to launch yourself accross the terrain, things operate as you expect when using the torque to your advantage.

Check out TorqueL for yourself on steam, I know I’ll be playing it through and I think you should too.

store.steampowered.com/app/250070
TorqueL is copyright http://fullpowersideattack.com/

Paperbound comes out on steam on march 31st

http://store.steampowered.com/app/339690

This video shows what has updated since the alpha highlight, with improvements to the graphical interface, the addition of automitons and individualised mele weapons for up close combat, as well sa some new arena’s with different mechanics, such as walls which loop around, and maps with death at every edge.

The game itself remains a very fun and frantic multiplayer game ideal for quick plays in close groups, rounds typically only last a couple of minutes, sometimes shorter depending on the skill level of those playing, and remains manic and fun throughout where the action never stops for a breath.

Maps are inspired by passages from literary backgrounds and as a result are selectable from tomes holding the knowledge within, with great care taken over the art style, including dust within the levels such as you would expect opening a dusty old book (which can be set by the user to be heavy or less noticable if it gets in the way of the map) All of the levels look very pretty and have thier own individualised style, fitting the book they are selected within and also having thier own unique character bringing the passages to life.

Guest appearances of characters from other indie titles as well as thier own selection of well drawn and imagined characters are playable in a selection of colours meaning there is plenty of variety in which character best suits you, be wary that some characters are thinner or smaller than others and as such hit boxes might be more difficult on those players, but someone with skill shouldn’t have too much of a problem with that and when it comes action time with up to 4 players you’ll be distracted more than micro managing things like that.

The literary style continues with weapons including running and throwing scissors, ink bombs and if selected escaping through a rip in the page when you reach the target while your enemies attempt to prevent your escape.

I think the game is definately something everyone should own, so check it out for yourself and see what you think

store.steampowered.com/app/339690

Standpoint is a first person puzzle game based upon the five stages of grief, inspired by other titles of a similar nature such as portal, q.u.b.e and the like, standpoint allows you to explore the world through the eyes of whatever entity you happen to be exploring stages based around the five stages of grief.

It would seem that you are a thought process traversing the inside of someones mind as they progress through the five stages, all too quickly loss is overcome as much in life important things can be lost in the blink of an eye with no explaination, there are secrets to be discovered which might aid you in the process of understanding exactly what has been lost and the nature of your place in this world, but it could be easy to miss these factors as it can be easy to miss the important things in life which help you understand.

There are 20 levels in total and while you may feel this is a little short the puzzles can get rather challenging very quickly, and this also allows the developer more freedom to introduce new elements every level and give a more diverse experience whilst still following the main themes for the different area’s, where denial focuses on denying you access to area’s in some form, or even denial of solving the puzzle in the way you would initially wish, then onto anger where it could be very easy to get frustrated and lost as the puzzles are designed to be very devious and frustrating in a successful manner which has left me in a state of not being able to progress beyond this before the major release but not at a state that I would never want to quit the game entirely leaving me to come back another day and try again to progress. This is what you want with a puzzle game really, if the puzzles were too easy to solve out of the box especially on a game where there are 20 levels you would feel cheated and dissappointed to complete the entire game so quickly, instead this has the right balance of challenge whilst somehow managing to theme the levels rather well to the emotion desired, not only in the level design but also the temprement and nature of the narator who appears to be the same voice actor for maggie from tinykeep so particular associations can be made while playing both games together.

I am unsure if there will be alternative endings depending on how many secrets you find or wether you get some but not all, however if you want to hear the full story of what is going on you will probably want to find all of the secrets which are hidden away in sometimes easy to see locations, but in later stages are hidden to a much less obvious degree.

If you enjoy games of this nature this is definately another you will want to purchase, not only because of the different mechanics of gravity and mind bending qualities which work without fault, but also by buying the game and showing the developer you enjoy games of this nature it encourages sequels or more games of this nature to be made.

From what I have been able to complete so far the story does follow the stages of grief well, perhaps if you find no secrets you might be left more confused as to what is going on, but if you do find them the secret hidden memories do fill in the plot very well for such a brief insight into what has caused the grief or the joys which have been lost in the past, and if anything the game itself does a good job of highlighting depression and grief and bringing the subject out of the shadows, perhaps even allowing it to become a platform for people to talk about more openly, or even see they aren’t the only one holding these things inside or feeling these emotions, and that it is all part of the process of recovering.

Of course the five stages of grief can naturally cycle and jump, it would have been clever to put warp zones and mix the stages of grief a little, however being lost in anger I can not state outright this doesn’t occur, but it could perhaps be something for a sequel where the character relapses into grief and cycles in some form, the length of time to complete levels and stages though can be a clever way of associating the fact that different stages of grief are overcome by different people in thier own times and no set length.

Standpoint is available on steam march 5th http://store.steampowered.com/app/322550/?snr=1_5_1100__1100

Life is strange is an episodic story driven game split into five episodes each being released six weeks apart so as to allow time for the player to play through at thier own pace and replay and change any consequences they weren’t entirely happy with before the next episode. This may sound rather simple at first, until you consider that you also have the ability to rewind time.

This might seem rather straight forward at first, test out the consequences rewind and choose the one that seems to fit best, however its not quite that simple as any objects and information you gain are retained as you exist outside of the rewind facility entirely. So while you can gain information to use in conversations and obtain a better outcome there is the possibility that you may learn things you wish you didn’t know and not be able to forget.

It is fairly easy to miss things on your first playthrough, especially as time goes on wherever you exist in the environment so chances are things are happening off screen and you have no idea. Episode one itself is very focused on setting up the moods and interactions with the main characters for future episodes, for example do you rush through life not talking to anyone or do you piss people off rather than be kind to them? Do you focus more on gaining evidence rather than socially interacting? All seem to have future consequences even down to the small things such as wether you watered your plant, which will undoubtedly have an influence on your emotional state which also seems to have an important standing in the plot of the game.

There is a licenced soundtrack, which unfortunately I could never show you due to third content ID claims by merlin despite having permission to show content of the game it is better to be safe than sorry, even if the music creators wished to be seen and heard by far reaching audiences through the game sometimes record labels have other idea’s. The music itself does seem to play an important part of the story as it is focused that you have to play the music, perhaps as a prelude hinting how it effects emotional states which could become important, especially with the nature of the game revolving around the social interactions and moods of all of the students of blackwell academy.

Stating that though the game revolves around several themes, much as quoted “a dream within a dream” the game has the main plot of max and her reunion with chloe and how you choose to interact with her after such a seperation, but also the sub plot of rachel amber’s dissappearance, and the superceding plot of time travel and the mysterious threat of the tornado.

There are a number of easter eggs within the episode, such as max’s tshirt, the posters and scribbles on the walls and other things I couldn’t possibly state without spoiling things entirely, but if you keep your eye open there is much more than just the main game and the pretty hand drawn artwork and textures of the game to keep you entertained.

Any issues that were initially present such as stutters in cutscenes, and mysterious tye-died textures appearing have been since resolved so were you to purchase the game and play through yourself you would not experience these and for future episodes these should not be present upon release.

All in all episode one has been a great teaser of things to come with a cliffhanger at the end showing things are definately not as they seem, depending on how much you read into things you could draw a number of consequences.

Either way I suggest you buy the game and play through for yourself, wether you buy episode one for £4 or the full season for £16 you won’t regret the purchase with a playtime of 1-3 hours for a single playthrough depending on wether you rush past all human interaction or take your time to explore and converse with the characters, and I can presume at least 2 hours play per episode for those yet to be released with the more complex puzzles and interactions which will undoubtedly be coming forward.

Check out life is strange for yourself, it is avilable to purchase now on steam and a recommended purchase from me.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/319630


Playthrough of Time FCUK including the additional chapter 2 content only availble through the purchase of the basement collection.

A fun and interesting puzzle game from before edmund mcmillen became popular through the binding of isaac and super meatboy, the basement collection features all of his flash based games including additional content for every game in an additional chapter of equal degree to the origonal content, and is well worth the purchase price.

The basement collection is available now on steam

Paperbound is a fun game by dissidentlogic.com where the gameplay is very simplistic in nature but challenging, frantic and fun.

Essentially you play as papercraft characters inside the pages of books fighting epic battles where gravity holds little meaning, and you can flip around the screen and manipulate this to your advantage to dodge around like a ninja and take out your enemies in order to escape. Once you meet the requirements a tear will form in the page just for you to escape and become victorious. There are the usual trope of gamemodes including king of the hill, capture the flag, etc but the game holds its own even without these gamemodes being a fun and frantic game that can be difficult to put down.

My only problem is that I lack the capability to connect my xbox 360 gamepad, and the game is currently local multiplayer only due to its alpha nature, however the final release should be steam based multiplayer and sort out that issue, wether it remains gamepad only is to be seen, but one can always be purchased. I however am waiting for the steampad to be released to test if this is compatible with this game.

Anyone in the midlands area of the uk who wants to play a series with me I welcome them or I can visit them, provided they have the ability to connect pads, as I have been trying ever since EGX to source people with those capabilities to play with and my friends and contacts unfortunately lack that nature, hence releasing this preview so I at least got my video out there for you to see, because this remains one of the releases of 2015 that I am highly anticipating and looking forward to playing upon final release.


Shutshimi is a frantic action packed shooter game from neon deity games, with an emphasis on the crazy, random and surreal. This is just what you want from a game of this style and manages to get the perfect balance of an approachable shooter that remains challenging without simply being a complete bullet hell throwing everything at you on screen while you dodge in pixel perfect fashion to get through the wave (although this could potentially be a very horrible hat you could find in the future, and the action does ramp up to rather extreme levels in the end game and victory laps)

All of the action in the game is split into 10 second(ish) segments including the shop time so you have 10 seconds to choose your item, which is easier said than done when you consider that the flavour text and item picture are completely randomised further adding to the fishes 10 second memory. If you successfully choose a good item finding the appropriate piece of text this can also result in your goldfish getting so excited that he leaves his previous items behind in a giddy rush to escape the shop with what he feels to be a steal (if he didn’t already steal it considering you never have to pay anything for the upgrades)

The dev has mentioned that there will be additional content in the steam release but even as it stands this game is perfectly fun and replayable, if you consider the fact that action continues after you complete the game in victory laps and that potentially steam workshop could introduce additional enemies, bosses and items that the devs even don’t consider (and don’t forget the plethora of fantastic game bending hats) this could be one of the best games you could purchase in 2015 in terms of value and replayability. runs can be fast and frantic so you’ll always be able to find time to jam in “just another run” and try to beat your high score, or that of your friends with potentially online leaderboards.

I think it’s a pretty obvious buy if you enjoy what you see and enjoy games of this nature, if you need further convincing feel free to check out the links to any of the lets plays on the main site to see the action for yourself and how many people are enjoying the game, and it definately gets a glowing radioactive thumbs up from me (not that I give any sort of rating scheme, but its a positive!)

Let go and embrace the crazyness and be a drunk fish on a party rampage for a few minutes recounting the story of how your home was invaded by the entire ocean, sky and cherry cola and how you had no choice but to go on a gun totting rampage eliminating everything in your path. You know you want to.

http://www.shutshimi.com/