Blob – Escape From Lab-16B (Flash Game) Review


Blob – Escape From Lab-16B is a 2012 flash puzzle platformer on Kongregate by teamBlob where you must escape Lab-16B by splitting and merging the blob to solve puzzles.

The menu didn’t exactly look very good and the music was a bit repetitive which wasn’t a bad thing but I’m definitely used to better, what I really didn’t like though was the strange idea to not have clickable buttons (Space is new game, M is level select). The visuals weren’t very good in the levels either.

 

Can you work out how I failed?

 

The gameplay was very easy to get used to and in all honesty with 24 levels and not very many additions most levels really took time, in fact there is no locks on levels meaning you can go straight to the last level if you feel like it. This feels weird to me since it really defeats any grain of satisfaction you’d get from getting through the levels and “escaping”, it usually feels ok in most other puzzle games though.

There is also scoring system in the game although its not one that I feel motivated enough to get it, maybe because cycling between blobs seems to take long if you accidentally press the button again. I would’ve made some sort of visual indicator (other than a quick arrow) and then had each one assigned to a number but that’s just me.

Overall a game that like most flash games is rather disappointing, there is probably a better game with this concept out there somewhere. I always link to the games though so here you are http://www.kongregate.com/games/teamBlob/blob-escape-from-lab-16b

A Game About Game Literacy (Flash Game) Review


[Currently saving up for GameMaker bundle, only £2 to reach tier 3 (and get all the modules). If you’d like to help Donate £1/$1 via PayPal PayPal.me/SamEarl13]

A Game About Game Literacy is a 2011 flash game on Kongregate by Damian Sommer which was made to “teach the player a couple simple to learn mechanics and then throw them into some extremely distilled metroidvanias”. In other words I can’t exactly review this as a game.

 

 

Most notable thing was probably how simplistic the graphics were at first and the repetitive (but ok) music although when it gets to the few ultra tiny metroidvanias like the above Tinytroid remixes of songs from popular a few popular metroidvanias are played (starting with the most obvious choice) but graphics stay the same. As for controls you only need WASD or the dpad with up being jump and down being a self destruct/restart level. The levels needed you to collect the powerups each time with things like run speed, jumping as well as keys under a time limit. The level pictured above is when the game starts to show off some puzzle elements by needing things to be collected in a certain order in order to be fast enough to win.

Despite how tiny the overall game is it does introduce a few other things before it ends, not a big fan of the rave level (and the end screen) although the dev was good enough to give a warning to anyone epileptic (I’m not but dislike bright lights) but it was quite good. Just a heads up for those that play it, you can jump after walking off a platform and its made like that on purpose.

Overall a very short review for a very short game but one you might as well have a look at. You can play it here. 

ASCIIvania (Flash Game) Review


[Currently saving up for GameMaker bundle, only £2 more to afford tier 3 (and get all the modules). If you’d like to help Donate £1/$1 via PayPal PayPal.me/SamEarl13]

ASCIIvania is a very small 2012 flash metroidvania created by gharding3 on Kongregate, while it could be assumed that its just a generic metroidvania with ASCII graphics you actually play as a letter (which you collect more to let you switch) in order to match up with other lets to make ‘words’ (all the 2 letter combo’s work) with the white ones seemingly being temporary while the grey ones aren’t.

Getting into the game was kinda awkward with the simplest graphics ever and kinda annoying music (or practically nothing if you mute it), you writ a name and the first letter was what you started with. Nothing difficult as matching was self explanatory but I’m really not a fan of moving with the keyboard dpad, sadly this was unchangeable as the game needed all the letters because of the fact you likely collect and switch between all of them. In fact it matching letters seemed a bit weird too, you couldn’t match them from below (without a gravity powerup) which sort of makes sense but still looks odd.

And about said gravity powerup I seriously did not like how you couldn’t use it in the air, it made it feel horrible to use and added possible minutes to the short playtime that didn’t need to be there. When I finally won the game I didn’t feel any satisfaction in doing so, probably because there was no feeling of exploration to counterbalance the backtracking (not even the slightly amusing sentences).

Overall even though this probably won’t take forever it is not worth recommending, the game was just made too simplistic with a gimmick that honestly didn’t work (or at least get used to its potential). If you want to play it anyway though the link is http://www.kongregate.com/games/gharding3/asciivania

Amea (Flash Game) Review


Amea is a 2011 flash metroidvania horror on Kongregate by godlimations about a young girl with no memory awakening in the absence of reality on the path leading to the answers of her past (the description was weird).

 

 

The game didn’t actually have a menu screen and simply had the character wake up into a tutorial/opening credits combination. Graphics didn’t look that good and perhaps a little lazy to be honest, music was ok but not amazing as like most of them it looped a lot. Props for the game actually having some voice acting though even if its a little bad (the other flash metroidvania games I’ve played have been very simplistic and/or have no need for it). The game sure went dark fast, sure explains why the girl ‘lost’ her memory immediately.

Controls were easy to set up to a controllre with things like attack and block being interchangeable between A,S and D (kind of like the items that could be equipped in the N64 Legend of Zelda games) but seemed quite hard to use. Running seemed to hard to control, rolling seemed useless and quite a few times I found myself facing the opposite direction to one of the zombie things when trying to block them. There is also a menu with things like a map, inventory and equipment screens as well as a button to show your current objective. Another problem with controls is how difficult pulling off the jumping sword attack where you stab downwards because not only does it need precision but jump and attack is the shortcuts for what seems like some sort of grab attack.

 

 

Playing through some of it (I don’t know how long it is) it felt more like an annoying maze than a metroidvania because of the fact you never saw the full screen even in places where it seemed it should of been brighter. In fact it was incredibly disappointing that the fire spell couldn’t be used to negate some of the darkness (being the first one you get), even crazier though is while spells damage you without gloves its super easy to get level ups which lets you upgrade your 2nd (and passive) spell regen to max (Lv 10) letting you spam fireballs without bothering about your health.

I also think there is a glitch with the leveling system where not using skill points makes getting levels (and therefore more skill points) overly easy, I can’t confirm it but I did gain a level every time I beat a certain 3 enemies for around 10 levels and didn’t gain a level after I used the points up. That’s not even mentioning what seems like a big glitch where using the summon spell (which isn’t worth using by the way) in the most evil looking dungeon somehow makes you end up in the big bosses room without needing to be the sub boss to open the door. Also the plot twists are a little dumb.

At the end I defeated the last boss although the fact that it consisted of spamming the Lv 10 Fireball and healing my health once with some the potions I’d never need to use it wasn’t very satisfying. Not really sure I liked the ending either to be honest but I won’t spoil it.

Overall I cannot recommend the game, the graphics aren’t that good and the controls can be finicky. It seems hard because of bad reasons and is actually surprisingly easy and seemingly exploitable. But if you still want to try it http://www.kongregate.com/games/godlimations/amea

Saving Up For GameMaker Bundle? | Extreme Burger Defense (PC Game)


If you haven’t already seen the below (terribly recorded) video I am thinking of saving up for the GameMaker Bundle on Humble Bundle. As someone that has followed and been followed by a decent amount of indie devs on Twitter I’ve always been curious about it even if I personally feel I will never get anything done. I’ll explain more below.

The bundle has 3 tiers, the first and cheapest offering GameMaker Studio with the 2nd ($10.90/£8.24 atm) offering the module to export to HTML and the 3rd Tier ($15/£11.34) to get the export modules for Windows 10 (PC only), Android and iOS. There are also a few games, source codes (to said games) and soundtracks to go along with them.

The reason I put together the video is because if I were to spend my PayPal money on this it’d be best to get the 3rd tier because of how Humble Bundle works however at this point in time I only have £8.57 (near $11 I believe) on my PayPal account.

I’m not trying to e-beg, while an older version of game maker seemed to run on my laptop (I tested it just in case) its not entirely certain this version would plus it does still have 12 days to go at the time of writing this as well. Plus you wouldn’t be getting anything out of it either as I probably won’t release any games.

However if you do want to throw me £1/$1 then my PayPal link is here.

Also said Humble Bundle is here if you want to look at it yourself.

Box Life (Unity Web Game) Review


Box Life is a 2012 3D first person flash metroidvania on Kongregate by tequibo. The goal is to collect abilities and 4 things (?) to escape from the box, also trying to find the 6 secrets along the way. Interestingly the developer does offer a downloadable version as well with customizable controls (but I’m fine with default). Note I skipped the very boring looking title screen as there’s not much to talk about.

Graphics were simplistic but nice (they’d have to be for a Unity game to run on my laptop lol) however there was no music. Controls were easy and the menu had both mouse sensitivity and invert options as well as sound and even fullscreen.

 

Yep took a screenshot of the most pointless thing there.

 

Controls were simple enough, I played with the keyboard for a little bit but thanks to the fact the game locked the mouse to it (and hid it) I could still use a PS3 controller via Xpadder. Looking around it seemed the game would be very tiny with the most time spent looking for the secrets (without looking at the inevitable guide likely in the top comments of Kongregate).

I was surprised at what abilities were on offer and I did most of it rather quickly, mostly because I thought the lack of music would make it boring but it was still rather relaxing either way after playing some of the other games and I’m a big fan of finding secrets and stuff.They were quite easy to find once you realised something though.

Overall a very tiny game but its something to play if you’re bored. Here is the link http://www.kongregate.com/games/tequibo/box-life

Level Up (Flash Game) Review


Level Up is a 2009 Flash Platformer on Kongregate (originally newgrounds)

by Duncan Saunders (programming?), Keith Evans (script?), TripleFox (music)

and Michael M (video?). According to the description it is a sandbox

platformer/rpg (inspired by another game known as Upgrade Complete) where

literally everything gives you exp including talking, taking damage and

doing absolutely nothing.

 

However it does boast some difficulty as every ingame night has the chance

to reset you back to Lv 1.

 

 

The game starts of rather strange, the art isn’t that good but being a

flash game made by a small group I can look past that, the music was quite

nice though. It was amusing how they used levels as part of a story that

started immediately with a npc with memory loss stating that his jump

ability got reset to Lv 0. In fact it really interested me how it worked,

leveling up by doing nothing sounds dumb but in fact it actually gets you

some extra idle animations although the fact you have to purposely get hit

by enemies to add them to the codex was rather strange.

 

Other than that it worked rather well and it was an interesting idea with

getting a higher jump merely meaning jumping a load of times. It definitely

seemed like something that could be rather relaxing as you gain levels and

get better which even included a relationship level with the boy npc.

Although the game actually had ingame days and something made to stop it

being too short/easy.

 

 

Every time the ingame hit 6pm (which was faster as you lose time whenever

you die) you are pitted against a shadowy figure with a sword with loads of

text in the background, the idea being you have to survive against them to

keep your levels but it gains levels quickly for stupidly dangerous stuff

like slashing and magic making the first day purposely impossible. Also

every day your Sleep level gets upgraded giving you a little longer to get

levels. The trick to beating them is to get them to hit themselves with

their boulder attack which makes shadow gems fall out which you collect to

make the health bar go down, its quite easy very quickly and thats not even

exploiting dashing into the wall to purposely stun yourself giving yourself

invincibility frames.

 

The game is incredibly short but satisfactory with each thing capping out

at a mere level 5 with maxing them out being the main objective but there

are also NPC’s dotted around the map you can talk to. While some were

useless there were a few that gave skills which are based on the 5 basic

ones like a double jump and regeneration, on top of that the game had

ingame ‘medals’ if you felt like a completionist which included getting all

the gems, being hit by everything (including lava which you can eventually

‘evade’) and talking to all the NPC’s.

 

 

Sadly the end wasn’t all that great, its not like the reveal was terrible

or anything Basically (and major spoilers ahead) you were after a deities

power who happens to be the amnesiac guy and the shadow person in your

dreams is essentially part of you angry that you failed to get it and had

your memory wiped with it ending with both her and the guy clashing swords.

That doesn’t seem bad by itself but the admittedly bad cutscene art doesn’t

fit the serious tone at all and really ruins it.

 

Although I guess the worst thing was that it was a cliffhanger and promised

a game that never happened even going so far to give a small demo of it

(name ‘Gather Up’) to those that got 100%. Not that I wanted that game,

they tried to automate too much like jumping and aiming with the gun that

it didn’t feel very fun at all and dodging by doing a backflip with up just

seemed idiotic.

 

Overall its a nice short game that is somewhat downgraded a little bit by

its ending, if you like tiny free platformers though then check it out. It

can be found here http://www.kongregate.com/games/Titch/level-up

Editing Newbie | Megaman 1 (NES) LetsPlay Part 2


I ended up writing this quite a while after uploading  the video which wasn’t intentional just I was still tired and I went back to bed. Nothing that special about this part, the title referencing the fact I couldn’t do what I planned to do while editing.

First things first as stated at the very beginning of the video, I recorded this at the same time as the other part so any slowdown will still be there (although only 1 person actually noticed so far). I also talk briefly about how a younger cousin came around uninvited and let themselves in ruining the previous recording attempt as the dogs started going mental.

Other than that though there wasn’t really a theme to this episode, just mentioning a few random things now and then as they became relevant like:

  • I don’t like using a turbo button as I feel as I press the button at an ok speed anyway.
  • For a robot it feels strange that Megaman can’t get off ladders in any way until he reaches the top.
  • You don’t need to shoot everything, feels odd saying that considering I’m a fan of going on huge killing sprees in games.
  • Enemies that are higher than you are easier to kill as you can usually do small jumps and get them in the feet, well timed shots also work for the things on the ceilings in levels too.

I also wasted my time and health getting a 1-up which I felt was idiotic watching myself back but since it showed something rather mysterious, aka the enemy reappearing on the side of the screen for a single frame it didn’t seem so bad.

The worst thing was how I wanted to make an enemy countdown of the last 8 enemies (excluding the boss) to counter the fact there wasn’t really many places to put text or many reasons to but couldn’t find a way to that wouldn’t be painfully complex.

At least Fireman’s power was unbelievably useful against Bombman thanks to the order I am playing the stages although my inability to show some emotions properly seemed to shine through, luckily most people understand I’m like that and don’t care but I still notice it either way. Thanks for reading if you did.

Getting Burnt | Megaman 1 (NES) LetsPlay Part 1


By writing these immediately after publishing each video I won’t forget again lol. Remember there’s nothing special about these, just a little extra writing to go alongside the video like an extended description of sorts.

Before I talk about the video itself I found an interesting way to do text on my old laptop as you can see above. What I did was:

  1. Write some basic text (I used Arial which is generic/default).
  2. Copy the pattern from part of the Megaman Logo (new layer).
  3. Stretch it so it covered the text before hiding it.
  4. Selected the text via the choose by color tool.
  5. Switch to pattern layer, copy and paste with Ctrl + C then Ctrl + V.
  6. Make sure what you paste is on a new layer and the above is the results.

I also made the shadow part of the megaman logo slightly transparent which isn’t very noticable.

As for the video itself I basically decided to play the original Megaman series because I really want to play the X games for videos (and don’t like doing them out of order). As well as not being crazy strict about the video I have also started learning Video editing but for now I only know text which is basically nothing but I still found it fun to do and can add stuff (e.g. making fun of myself).

So far though I still have a lot of problems to fix, one is constantly breathing into the microphone and the other is learning stuff you can do with the webcam (currently impossible until I get a better laptop).

Anyway that is about it, thanks for reading if you did. Remember that you can suggest retro games I should try to play.

Using Other People’s Screenshots For Xbox 360 Reviews?


Both my blog and my channel have been a little bit dead lately due to circumstances (I partially blame all the drilling from the shower being installed) so I’ve decided to look into extending my content in a way that’ll actually make me happy aka games that aren’t really old. I may love retrogaming but I do own some games on the Xbox 360 (in fact snagged the Tomb Raider reboot yesterday) but never reviewed any for 1 reason: I can’t take my own screenshots.

Don’t have images so have a random screenshot (thats mine btw).

That’s when I thought to myself perhaps I could use one of the many screenshots dotted around the internet, after all the pictures are only really used to break the text up and look nice and it doesn’t make a difference who took them (although I prefer doing it myself). Obviously I’m not going to just take stuff, I’ll probably link the image back and give credit to whatever site it is from via the captions which I personally feel would be good enough.

I do wonder what other people’s thoughts on it are though, feel free to put down in the comments. Just in case it will make you think a little differently this does mean that I could review good games such as Darksiders 2, Dark Souls, Lost Odyssey among a few others (I really don’t own that many… I technically don’t own two of those examples either lol). Anyway thanks for reading.