Category Archives: Video

Review: A Pixel Story

A 2D side-scroller that both challenges you to think outside the box to solve a plethora of puzzles while reveling in the smart dialogue of your companion, A Pixel Story gives something new to players of all kinds. The game follows the story of a pixel that needs to use his special Teleportation Hat to reach the core of The System and stop the OS from dominating everything. In that sense, much of the game is filled with inside jokes about the fact that you’re in a game and you’re constantly reminded of that fact beginning from the moment you press start with a quick Pong reference. Following a simple gameplay style of just jumping and using your Teleportation Hat, (you are able to leave you hat in a certain location and then  teleport back to it when need be), you’re given the opportunity to do more than just wait for platforms to roll around or try and time the perfect just for the umpteenth time.

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The hat’s real purpose is to give you a freedom that vintage platformers didn’t possess: the ability to try again before dying. Countless times did I fall off an edge or a platform only to be brought back just as quickly because the hat was elsewhere. Many puzzles utilize this feature, (spoiler), but trying to figure out every other possible way to figure it out is just as fun as well. In order for you to reach The Operator, you must find your way through six different ‘generations’, or different worlds that represent different eras in graphical capabilities. These worlds are among one of the coolest things about the game as each world updates the graphics, as well as the puzzles and traps, and moves the story forward. In order to switch between generations, you have to go to The Bedroom, which allows you to see which generations you’ve unlocked as well as lets you travel between them, making it much more simpler to traverse to different areas for any missed goods or side quests.

Another perfectly integrated resource in the game are the checkpoint chambers that automatically spawn you if you die, allowing you to continue an infinite amount of times. Considering the difficulty of some of these puzzles, this proves really beneficial and takes away the stress from focusing on not wasting lives or worrying about a health bar. They’re quick and they’re spread out pretty thick so no matter where you are, a chamber is nearby to help you so need be. This is great as you need to do some pretty deep exploring in order to meet different characters and receive different items that could help you along the way.

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CLOSING COMMENTS:

A Pixel Story provides a quick and witty escape into a a world that is both challenging and smart, giving real value to the $11.99 price point. The different generations themselves make the game worth it as each one offers a beautiful landscape as well as new challenges to keep you on your toes.

Developed by Lamplight Studios

Published by Rising Star Games

Reviewed on the PS4

(4.0/5.0)

4-rating

Check out the trailer for the game below:

The Good, The Bad, The Unforgettable: Shenmue

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I’ve written about this game a hundred times across a hundred different websites and it never fails to make me feel as though it is the best game to ever have been created.  I usually like to direct my Throwback Thursdays to something a little more relevant to what is going on or to whatever it is that I’m currently playing but I think that Shenmue deserves to be on every website that I am a part of.  The game has always been a very important facet of my life not only as a great Dreamcast game, (my favorite home console of all time), but a game that changed a generation of gaming.  Shenmue focused on main character, Ryo, who is searching for the person who murdered his father, crime lord and master martial artist, Lan Di.  Of course, detective work isn’t easy for a teenager who has only ever studied martial arts, so you need to utilize the time of day as well as your surroundings in order to find Lan Di.

The game utilizes time as an important factor, as it dictates when certain stores are open and when certain people are able to be spoken to.  It triggers most events of the game so it is greatly important that you pay attention to the time and date in the game.  Another incredible feat created by Yu Suzuki, creator of the game, is the fact that basically every NPC has both a voice and a personality.  Depending on the holiday or time of day, they each say something different or will have a different word of advice that can help you progress in the game.  This kind of gameplay was almost unheard of during the time of this game’s release, making it both incredible to hardcore fans of the roleplaying genre as well as those that passively want to play the game without any harsh movements.  Speaking of harsh movements, the combat in the game is done through the use of different skills learned, which are activated through different combo buttons, or through a series of quick time events.

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Games nowadays pretty much always have these elements in their gameplay and it seems like no big deal but the difference is that this game came out in 1999, a whopping seventeen years ago.  Intricate gameplay that required you to discover your path through a series of trial and error while following written notes and challenging your memory wasn’t something that was developed every day.  In fact, it is loved by so many people that a Kickstarter was created last year to bring the third game to fruition and bring the series to a whole new light.  Hopefully, the intricacy of the game stays and the only thing that will be changed is the level of fighting and the ability to discover more than just the closed area that you were allowed to be.

Check out the trailer for the first game below:

E3 2016: Opening Up a New Genre for Zelda Fans in ‘Breath of the Wild’

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We here at Dwellers Included understand that you’ve already heard all of this already.  You’ve heard all about E3 and you’ve definitely heard about everything there is to hear in regards to what was shown at the conferences.  But, with Nintendo’s already established IP getting a complete makeover, there has to be something that you haven’t already considered.  The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild left fans stunned at how open the world is, (especially since it was stated that the playable demo was only a fraction of the entire overworld), as well as the new features that were available.  Zelda isn’t new, we all know this, but what is it that changes this game from the original formula of collecting the three items that unlock dungeons that make you collect more items just so you can fight the big bad guy at the very end? That’s the thing, EVERYTHING is different with this new game.

While it hasn’t officially been confirmed, the very first thing you’ll notice about the E3 trailer is that there is a voice over narration at the beginning. This is a series that is known for never having any kind of voice overs and most characters don’t even have dialogue period.  You’ll also notice that Link is able to scale certain mountains and climb monuments like Wander does in Shadow of the Colossus.  You are also able to equip different clothing pieces as well as remove them to make link susceptible to different kinds of attacks and take certain kinds of damage, (the E3 show floor was full of players removing all of Link’s clothes in order to make him shiver).  Of course, you were always able to change your armor as well as climb things, but not at this scale and especially not in an open world RPG-esque type Zelda game.

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The game looks a lot as though you’ll be doing much more than just follow the linear path that almost all Zelda games put in front of you.  You’ll be able to explore this vast world as  well as come across different areas that allow you to do more than just defeat the enemy, open the treasure box, and leave.  The armor sets look as though they can be changed in order to level them up or build up some kind of skill tree; maybe to be used in leveling up Link for more ferocious battles, (leveling up might be a new concept added to the game as well).  Another thing that might be available in this new game are random dungeons that can be explored as well as quests that take the player to new places as well.  Of course, there is no concrete evidence to back that statement up, but let’s think about it for a moment.  There’s this huge open world that allows for players to climb the tallest mountains and walk into the deepest valleys but why?

You can’t be doing all of this just for the sake of being able to do it.  There has to be a reason as to why Nintendo created this huge open world and it is most likely to give the series not only something new, but an environment, scenarios, and quest that wold only fit the Zelda style.  No other Nintendo franchise could pull something off like that so to go all the way with this type of game, (eg. adding dungeons, quests, armor collecting, leveling up, skills, etc.) would be the only real solution to making this game break away from the tradition Zelda style.  Fans of Zelda games are fans of that style of gameplay and that style of storytelling.  So, housing all of that into a huge overworld that can be expanded upon through normal RPG means would create a new genre for this beloved series.

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Another added feature to the game, and it has only be introduced with this single character, is the ability to add the Wolf Link amiibo as a companion character to roam the world with.  It hasn’t been said if other amiibos will unlock other companion characters but having a companion at all is new and could possibly hint at some kind of multiplayer dungeon crawling gameplay, (though probably not).

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be coming out next year on March 31 for the Wii U and the NX, (which will most likely debut on the same day).

Check out the E3 trailer for the game below: