All posts by Natalie Collazo

Preview: Hover: Revolt of Gamers

Before beginning this preview, Dwellers Included would like to break the editorial norm and speak in the first person for a moment: we haven’t had this much fun just screwing around in a game since Jet Set Radio came out on the Dreamcast. No, you aren’t a gang of rollerskaters trying to vandalize the entirety of Tokyo-to with your personal tag while evading the police. In Hover: Revolt of Gamers, you’re part of a group of kids who are trying to essentially do the same thing with the addition of a few customization aspects. You play as an unnamed character, (you design their color scheme and give them a name), who is part of a group of youths who have the ability to hover around DStown with these super nifty suits, grinding and performing tricks everywhere.

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You’re friends give you a series of different missions that will test your ability in performing tricks and being able to do things like wall grinding and deliveries. You are rated on how quickly you do these trials and I’ve gotta say, some of these are much harder than you could imagine. Sure, the game focuses on the whole hover aspect, but sometimes the fluidity of it all forces you to over-jump a landing or completely miss your mark. It could be a little frustrating, but then you find yourself pressing the R button to rewind, allowing you to literally retrace your steps up to a certain point to try that jump again. You can’t really be upset when you’re given the tools to retry almost immediately; it’s whether you remember that the button is at your disposal or not.

The aforementioned missions are given to you by other teammates on your squad, (ahem, Team N-Asty). These missions grant you different abilities that allow you to level up different parts of your suit for better handling. Pretty much anything you do will level you up in that aspect and make you a better… hover-er? Alongside some of these difficulty missions is a whole playlist of music that mixes funk with hip-hop to create some of the most fun music I’ve heard in a game in quite some time, (next to Persona 5).

It isn’t an exact replica, no, but there are plenty of aspects about Hover: Revolt of Gamers that feels nostalgic and gives players the freedom to just play a game and have fun. Midgar Studios have done an incredible job bringing back the leisure of playing a game without the frustration of trying to play through an engrossing story and enhanced game mechanics. In this game, you’re free to hover around and do tricks while leveling up your character and playing with your friends. The game is single-player; however, there are certain missions in which it seems as though others could join you, hopefully meaning that this will eventually be a multiplayer game.

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Considering that this is the alpha of the final game, there are a few flaws regarding misspelled words and the vibrancy of the world itself. Since you do have the ability to tag over the propaganda put out by the anti-leisure tyranny, sometimes the colors of the tag jump off of the walls and are displayed as colorful orbs that don’t go away. Sometimes, the colors do get a little distracting and blow up to take over the screen, but that hasn’t happened enough times to find annoying.

The game officially hits Steam on May 31; meaning, the game will no longer be an alpha after that date. It is currently available to purchase for $19.99 and let me tell you, if you’re a fan of mindless fun and dope beats, you will not be disappointed.

Check out the trailer for the game below:

A preview copy was provided for the purpose of this preview.

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series – Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue

Yes, the first episode came out a while ago and yes, we know we are a little late to the show; but, we only just picked up the Season Pass disc and that wasn’t released until just a couple of days ago. So, Episode 1 of Telltale’s latest adventure delves into the lives of this group of misfits as they roam the galaxy as the famed Guardians of the Galaxy. The Nova Corps asks them to face Thanos as he is on a nearby Kree planet searching for some kind of relic. The Guardians kill Thanos, using a powerful gun created by Rocket Raccoon, and celebrate their victory, Star-Lord himself drinking out of the cup-shaped relic that Thanos had found. As opposed to the blockbuster film, this is where you’re able to delve more into the personalities and thoughts of each of the Guardians, (even though Groot doesn’t really have a whole lot to say).

Stepping away from the story for a moment, the physical look of the game is something that I believe needs to be talked about: this game would have definitely benefit physically with the outlined look of games like Tales From the Borderlands and The Walking Dead. Besides that, the game looks stunning in both the aspect of detail to the environments and on character design. Mechanically, it also plays very well considering you are essentially playing as the Guardians as a whole. When you’re playing the game itself, you control Star-Lord, but when you’re working on quick-time events, you essentially play as all of them. That being said, you make all the decisions and moves as Star-Lord, a charming and witty guy who fights within the means of his team and for the protection of the galaxy: a very specific kind of character.

Many of the choices in the game require you to behave as you would normally, making the choice you feel best fits the situation. Playing as Star-Lord, I found myself making decisions that I felt he would make instead of what I would do. Yes, there are plenty of people who are playing the game without already knowing about the characters beforehand, but some responses just happen to feel all too genuine while others feel as though they were put there just to give the illusion of decision making. There are some very important decisions you do have to make. Like, whether you should listen to Rocket or Gamora about who to sell Thanos’ body to or who you should take with you to explore the Kree warship. Those decisions do build up tension within the team and kind of leaves you feeling like you need to make sure you don’t piss everyone off; however, it would have been nice to feel like I’m more in control of my decisions as myself, not as Star-Lord.

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Clocking in at a little bit over an hour, the first episode of Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series really does open up the story in a very interesting and intriguing way. The ending leaves a lot of questions unanswered while forming a million new questions as well. Fortunately, the series has much to explore in the ways of exactly who our characters are and why they are the way that they are. It feels as though the game is going to take a very serious turn in the coming episodes and give these characters a story worth remembering. I mean, exactly how many moms are there who ask alien hunters to care for their kids should something happen to them?

CLOSER:

While the game might not look as physically appealing as other Telltale games, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series really gives these Marvel characters the attention they deserve in a story about just one of their many misadventures. This episode really does leave me with high expectations for the upcoming episodes between the fluidity between members during quick-time events and more insight into this incredibly interesting story.

Released on April 18, 2017

Developed and Published by Telltale Games

Reviewed on PS4

(3.5/5)

3

A review copy was provided for the purpose of this review.

Review: Voodoo Vince: Remastered

Now, here’s a little story I’ve got to tell about a voodoo doll you know so well. It started way back in history with Xbox, Beep Industries, and me, Natalie C.

The game, originally an Xbox original exclusive created by the founder of Beep Industries, Clayton Kauzlaric, is your average platformer filled with collectibles and secret areas. It’s been beautifully redone in HD which really gives the game the design that it deserves against a strange New Orleans type backdrop. Vince has come to life as his creator, Madame Charmaine, is kidnapped after refusing to give up her ‘Zombie Dust’. The dust is spread into the air and begins to transform nonliving things into living things; and this is where Vince comes to life.

Games like this are hard to come by nowadays as so many big developers are focused on things like virtual reality and motion capture. Of course, moving forward with technology is the best route that gaming could take however sometimes its just relaxing to sit down with a well designed, and simple, platforming puzzler. As a true remaster, (no extra levels or added bonuses), the game retains everything from the 2003 original, including the 8 hours of playtime. No, the eight hours shouldn’t scare people away; it’s fun throughout and filled with tons of witty dialogue and fun puzzles the entire way through.

Not really deviating from your average platformer, the game takes you through different areas of this New Orleans-like town where you must solve puzzles in order to proceed to the next area. Some of these puzzles are really well designed, forcing you to do them a few times before really realizing where you made your mistake. The levels are designed for exploration and regardless of how many times you think you may have scoured the area, there’s always a place you missed. Fortunately, hunting things down is still a ton of fun as you find entrances and passages that you didn’t see before, testing the limits of just how far Vince can jump and float for.

This game has you collecting ‘Voodoo Powers’, giving Vince an array of different powers that affect his enemies. It’s pulled off through little animations of Vince being attacked in some way, (like being cut by a chainsaw or having an anvil dropped on him), and then transferring those injuries to the enemies in the vicinity. It’s very wacky but it isn’t tacky, conjuring laughter more than cringe as you cycle through the different animations every time you unleash a dumb attack. This also ties into the actual conversations you have in the game, whether it be with someone who can help you or an enemy, the game has aged relatively well in terms of dialogue. Many of the bosses and enemies you meet deliver passive-aggressive lines that really hits that nostalgia related to games like Psychonauts and Grim Fandango.

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Closer:

Voodoo Vince certainly looks his best in this well deserved remaster of the original game that graced our grubby hands 14 years ago. The game is oozing with charisma and character that fans, new and old, will be able to find both hilarious and  challenging. Hopefully, this game’s release will continue the trend of remastering older fan favorites.

You can pick up Voodoo Vince: Remastered on either Xbox One and PC for $14.99.

Released on April 18, 2017

Developed and Published by Beep Games, Inc.

Reviewed on Xbox One

(4.0/5)

4-rating

A review copy was provided for the purpose of this review.

Check out the trailer for the game:

Review: Persona 5

Ah, yes; it is finally time for everyone to read what the Dwellers think about Atlus’s most recent American release, Persona 5. Just like every other sane person in the world, we think it’s way too awesome for words, (but we will do our best anyway). The game follows several teens who all have the same goal of transforming evil people by taking their hearts in a strange metaverse that uses monster-like weapons called Personas. The game is a little difficult to describe if you have never played a Persona game before but let me tell you that I’ve successfully managed to convince several people in my personal life to play the shit out of this one, (Michael and Mike).

Not only is the story incredibly well done as it focuses primarily on the actual evil within human hearts, it is very human and very much an exaggerated version of the mundane. Of course, things like turning into a Phantom Thief and fighting your way through gigantic Palaces in order to steal a treasure that will give the Palace creator a change of heart may seem a little far-fetched, but it’s the idea of why they’re doing it.
Many antagonists in the game are what the cast calls ‘shitty adults’: adults that don’t think about the consequences of their actions because the only people who care are the kids that they’re messing with. In a way, that’s true in the world outside of the game so many of the missions that these characters set out to do can sometimes feel a little more personal and really adds value to your gameplay.

Alongside that, the combat is packaged very well with an incredible combination of weaponry and your handy dandy persona. Like the previous games, you have the ability to collect different personas and utilize them as you please in battle. An even simpler battle system was added that allows you to quickly pin your enemy personas against their weaknesses without having to shuffle through all your personas. It allows for much quicker battles and lets you be on your way even faster than before. The grinding in this game feels far less like you’re just battling endlessly and really let’s you have fun and explore the Palaces/Mementos.

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This game also features probably the best cast of characters as well as the best Confidant characters, (characters that fuel the power of certain personas according to how your relationship with them is), in any Persona game. Almost all relationships that you can build in the game feel very personal and real, unlike some of the more stoic characters from previous games. Every character you meet is actually important to the overarching story, even if it doesn’t always feel that way, and have greater an effect on how you play the game than you may realize.

The environment is beautifully designed and it’s really clear just how much time Atlus spent on the environment, Palace designs, and enemy designs. It is undeniably beautiful and much of the combat is so stylish and well presented that you almost can’t help but continue to enter the Palaces just for more.

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Another aspect of the game I think deserves some real recognition is the way that the game focuses on you being a Phantom Thief. In previous games, you’re obviously important and the work you do is important however it is pretty much unknown to everyone that isn’t part of the initial group you play as. In this game, the Phantom Thieves are well known outside of the metaverse and actually pose a kind of threat to the characters real lives, as is seen early on in the game, (the game plays as though you are playing through a flashback). It’s a welcome story element that adds to the overarching plot and really adds to your gameplay as you discover new Confidants and meet new people.

Closer:

Persona 5 is definitely the best numbered Persona game in the series and really opens the door to new players unlike any other JRPG that I know. The game is undeniably gorgeous and inviting, paving the way for future JRPGs in the West and hopefully opening more doors to those who don’t normally play the genre, (yes, we are very excited about Yakuza Kiwami).

Released on April 4, 2017

Developed and Published by Atlus

Reviewed on PS4

(5/5)

Check out the trailer for the game below:

The Good, The Bad, The Unforgettable: Yoga Hosers

Okay, let me begin by saying that this film, and I’ll even quote it for you guys, “is the best film I’d seen in a while”, (you can just copy and paste that quote wherever you’d like, I made it easy for you). Yeah, that’s super bold to say and in a way, you really can’t trust a person who doesn’t have much under her belt minus a few podcasts and reviews. So, let me explain just why I believe that anyone who is a fan of both Kevin Smith and Canada should watch the journey between two best friends unfold.

There will be spoilers so don’t read any further unless you feel totally sure about your decisions.

The film stars Harley Quinn Smith, (Smith’s very own daughter), and Lily Rose Depp, (Johnny Depp’s very own daughter), as best friends Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie who work at a Canadian convenience store called Eh-2-Zed.  Doesn’t already have you hooked? Well, the teenagers are invited to a ‘grade twelve’ party by two older boys, (played by Austin Butler and Tyler Posey), who happen to be fucking Satanist that want to disembowel the Colleen’s. Does that have you hooked? No? Well, the convenience store is soon overrun by murderous Nazi bratwurst that kills the boys and leaves the girls to fight for themselves. 

Please, tell me that you want to watch it now.

The girls are arrested and then interrogated by Guy Lapointe, a strange French detective who happens to be played by Johnny Depp himself. Of course, he believes the girl’s story as he himself has evidence of these ‘Bratzi’ monsters. After failing to defeat the monsters, the Colleen’s are taken to the bratzi’s ruler, Adronicus Arcane, a Canadian Nazi who froze himself so he could rise again later.

The film is so much stupid fun and you can’t help but laugh alongside all the guest appearances like Haley Joel Osment and Justin Long from the film that started the whole thing, Tusk, (another conversation for another day). There is plenty more to find in this film but it would be terrible of me to spoil it any further for you.

While I must admit that this isn’t Smith’s greatest work, it definitely does not deserve to be considered a ‘bad film’, but rather an unforgettable one. In ten years, I guarantee that this film, as well as many/all of Smith’s films, (future, current, and past), will grace film lover’s, and general fun lover’s, shelves around the world.

I know that many of them grace mine.

Check out the trailer for the film below: