Tag Archives: PS4

Review: 88 Heroes

 

With Dr.H8 on a war path to annihilate the earth, and the world’s best heroes currently unavailable, the 88th president of the United States gathered 88 of earth’s not so great heroes to take him down before it’s too late. With 88 heroes, you might think it should be a cakewalk to take down DR.H8, but with some of the most obscure powers, (like a pizza eating armadillo), it’s going to be a challenge to stop that evil mastermind.

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88 Heroes is the first game developed by indie studio Bitmap Bureau, which happened to be founded in February of last year. Hopefully Bitmap Bureau can hit it out of the park and make a name for themselves right out the gate. With each hero having their own mechanics, it does make the journey through the 88 levels quite interesting. Having a new hero on every level and each time you die, can be quite difficult, but it does make the experience more enjoyable.

At first glance, 88 Heroes may seem just like any other modern day 2D pixelated platformer with a beautiful art style, chiptune-esque music, and sprinkled in with some shout outs to some classic action films; but after a couple levels you begin to see what 88 Heroes can be. You find your way through each level attempting to reach the elevator to get you a little closer to Dr.H8 while taking advantage of each hero’s special ability, or succumb to the level due to the ridiculousness of your heroes power (or lack thereof). Now it does get a little frustrating when you have already wasted more than a few heroes on one level, but that’s the charm of the game. Without a very engaging story, (much like those classic action films), 88 Heroes has to win you over another way, and that’s where the zaniness and sense of accomplishment get you.  

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The lineup of heroes Bitmap Bureau has brought to the game is wonderful, with references to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Microsoft, Mario Bros and other great media from the 80’s and 90’s. Don’t be mistaken, Bitmap has brought some original heroes into the mix as well, such as Miss Fortune, (She flips a coin and if you’re lucky she takes you straight to the elevator at the end of the level, but if you aren’t, you’re dead on the spot and down one hero), or Nibbles the destroyer, (A nearly indestructible gerbil in a run-about ball), plus many more creative heroes. The colorful cast of heroes that Bitmap has crafted for your adventure wouldn’t be nearly as great if their villain wasn’t just as zany as them. Dr.H8 watches over our heroes from the safety of his hideout (except for some difficult little boss battles, that can deplete your supply of heroes if you aren’t careful). While you overcome Dr.H8s Treacherous rooms you also get to see some insight on how he truly feels and the way he treats his robot henchmen, (it isn’t very good).

I won’t tell you 88 Heroes is an easy game, because I would be lying to you. Bitmap Bureau has made a challenging and fun platformer, with some puzzle elements to their gameplay. You might disagree, but solving each and every room with a new hero is a puzzle within itself, having to understand how each heroes power works and ways to manipulate it to your advantage. One could say there’s 88 ways to tackle each room, but you know there’s probably more. Occasionally you’ll be able to breeze through a room getting that perfect score with your first hero, other times you could lose a hero or two along the way for not playing it smart and going in too fast. Bitmap Bureau really did something special with the change of heroes, bringing in an extra level of difficulty with a puzzle element and still making it fun to play.

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Not only is it fun with a high level of difficulty, but it’s also feels great to play. You might be a little confused at first when learning each of the hero, but after you work out the kinks each hero feels great. This is no easy accomplishment, with 88 different heroes and there are some awkward powers, but they all feel smooth.  

With everything great that Bitmap Bureau does, 88 Heroes still has it’s flaws. One of the biggest things I felt the game was missing was a little story, maybe a cutscene every so often with some witty banter between some of the heroes and maybe Dr.H8. A little more story would have pulled everything together, if done the right way. Also, maybe a selection of three heroes each time you die or hit a new level, just to ease up on the difficulty, which might push some people away from this wonderful game.

CLOSER:

Bitmap Bureau did a great job on 88 Heroes, with its zaniness and overall fun. It’s really inviting for players who enjoyed platformers, but then adds that puzzle flavor which really opens up the game, and that’s why 88 Heroes gets a solid 4. I definitely recommend you go out and pick it up today. You can pick up 88 Heroes on Steam, The PlayStation Store, and on the Microsoft Store for $14.99.

Released on March 24, 2017

Developed by Bitmap Bureau

Published by Rising Star Games

Reviewed on PS4

(4/5)

4-rating

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

Check out the trailer for 88 Heroes below:

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: Beyond: Two Souls

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Before I begin this Sadistic Saturday, I wanted to point out that I do not believe that Beyond: Two Souls was hot garbage and do believe that the game just didn’t turn out to be what was expected.  Quantic Dream has always followed a pretty strict regiment of making their games both hyper realistic and gives players the option to control their destiny.  With Detroit: Become Human coming out, that much is clear.  Beyond: Two Souls stars a young girl named Jodie Holmes, whose appearance is modeled after actress Ellen Page, who has a psychic connection with some kind of spirit named Aiden.  She has been in psychiatric care since she was very young and never had any friends aside from Aiden, as he always seems to interrupt any interactions with anyone who isn’t him.  Since then, she has been left in permanent custody to doctors Nathan Dawkins and Cole Freeman, Willem Dafoe and Kadeem Hardison.

The game utilizes dialogue choices to change the outcome of events as well as many quicktime events to control Aiden and allow him to do certain things.  It follows a convoluted plotline in which Jodie is trained by the CIA to undergo military procedures to other countries, using Aiden to aid her in her missions.  She becomes disgusted with herself after discovering that she killed the kind president of one of the countries that she infiltrated.  She becomes a fugitive and escapes, leading to a series of random encounters with people that take her in such as a group of homeless people and a Native American family.

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The characters are very three dimensional and the voice acting is superb, but the level that Quantic Dream was trying to achieve flew past the storyline and made the game seem a little sub par.  Since Aiden is a very large part of Jodie’s life, he doesn’t allow her to get killed or even injured, making some of the gameplay moments completely useless because you were never punished for any mistakes.  If you missed a quick time event, you were pretty much guaranteed multiple do overs because Aiden wouldn’t allow you to be injured.  This led to a relatively unrewarding experience and made you feel more like a participant than a player.  The only part of the game that really gives you a satisfying lurch forward is when you play as Aiden, an omniscient being that is able to traverse through every room of the area that you are in.

You can see through walls as him and are able to plan out your attacks or movements far before you even make them.  He’s very quick and his movements are only limited to room barriers, meaning that he is able to see far and wide so long as you stay within the confined area.  However, Aiden is mostly only used whenever Jodie needs something and will make note of it through verbal prompts to make Aiden possess someone or do s a certain action. It’s still fun, nonetheless, but it isn’t as rewarding as you may think.

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You end up finding out, after shit hits the fan, that Aiden is your stillborn twin brother whom you’ve had an attachment to since you were both in the womb.  It wasn’t the greatest twist, but it was the one that made the most sense and it allowed for a better look at why this character is the way that he is towards others.  I felt more like I had watched a film than I did having finished a game and that was not the experience that I wanted for the price.  At ten hours, the series of inconsequential choices and poor gameplay mechanics  forced me to feel more relieved that I had finished it over being satisfied.

The game was originally released back in 2013 and was currently remastered for the PS4 with Heavy Rain earlier this year, the better of the PS3 Quantic Dream games.

Check out the launch trailer for the game below:

E3 2016: Kratos Returns in a New Scandinavian ‘God of War’

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The God of War series has always been a favorite among Playstation owners and it had been highly speculated that a new one was going to be announced for Playstation 4.  Of course, fans were right but it was announced not as everyone was expecting.  God of War will follow Kratos to Scandinavia and will follow Norse mythology, as stated through small gestures in the E3 trailer.  Kratos still utilizes his Spartan Rage attack and has the scar that Zeus gave him in the second game as well as the white skin from the murder of his family, which rules out the idea of a reboot as many people thought.  He does have a son, or at least a small boy that refers to him as his father, that also appears in the trailer.

Kratos seems to have calmed down a bit, getting angry with his son before taking a moment to calm down, take a deep breath, and control his anger.  It’s clear that the Kratos that we see in this game is not going to be the same one that was filled with hate and anguish for what he did to his family.  Most, if not all, of the Greek gods and deities were killed in the previous games so it was a little hard to tell what Kratos’s newest adventure was going to be about.
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Also, his beard is not the only new thing about this new installment; the gameplay has also changed drastically compared to the previous ones.  The previous games were very similar to most ‘hack and slash’ type games where you built up combo moves and attacked rigorously through button mashing.  The trailer shows that this one will take a little bit more of a Dark Souls approach as per when Kratos nears a giant, who towers over him, and utilizes quick moves and dodges to attack him.  That’s when you see him utilize his Spartan Rage move to weaken the enemy and give his ‘son’ a chance to kill the foe.

The trailer showed this as well as a few other things that weren’t expanded further, like how it looks like you will be able to develop skill sets or how this boy is even related to Kratos as it looks like he has no mother.  The trailer ended without a release date but it definitely looks to be a mid 2017 game.

Check out the E3 gameplay trailer below: