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Jason Clement

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Jason Clement last won the day on March 4

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About Jason Clement

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  1. Zelda-like games are a dime dozen these days but Sparklite (from indie developer Merge Games and publisher Red Blue Games) looks to be a cut above the rest with a few things that make it stand out. Part Zelda-like adventure, part rogue-like, and part... crafting-like (?), Sparklite is set in a world where its natural resource (or life force) goes by the same name. Its story focuses on a young heroine named Ada, whose quest is to save the world from an antagonistic, self-named 'Baron' that is seeking to exploit the resource in order to further his own nefarious goals. To do so, you'll explore five procedurally-generated biomes, invent different gadgets and weapons to solve puzzles and defeat enemies, battle giant bosses, and help the local population rebuild The Refuge. Last but not least, all of this will be set to a soundtrack composed by Dale North (of Wizard of Legend fame). If mixing Zelda gameplay, crafting, and a procedurally-generated world sound right up your alley, you can check out Sparklite on the Nintendo Switch eShop, Playstation Store on PlayStation 4, Xbox Games Store on Xbox One, and Steam starting today. The game is also on sale for 15% off on each platform until November 20. Check out the game's launch trailer below! Source: Press Release
  2. Jason Clement

    Review: A Knight's Quest

    Developer: Sky 9 Games Publisher: Curve Digital Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC (via Epic Games Store) Release Date: October 10, 2019 ESRB: T for Teen Note: This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game It’s always a bit surprising to me that we don’t see more games use 3D Zelda titles as a base, given the series’ immense popularity. Sky 9 Games' A Knight’s Quest is one of the first indie titles I’ve seen recently that attempts this and actually gets much closer to replicating the experience (especially the adventure aspect) than most other games have. Unfortunately, there are also a number of aspects that hinder it from living up to its potential. In A Knight’s Quest, you play as Rusty – a clumsy adventurer who unwittingly unleashes an unknown, presumably malevolent force that has been sealed away. In order to fight this evil, Rusty is tasked with seeking out four spirit heroes and their powers, which in turn means going on a journey to find each one in their own dungeon. The story isn’t necessarily the most original ever, but it works for setting the game in motion. Likewise, the dialogue often aims for funny and nonsensical, but is hit and miss. This is mostly due to just about every character being written with a combination of snarky/sarcastic wit and internet meme culture; kind of like that awkward friend who tries to be funny by repeating outdated internet memes and jokes. In the end, the character dialogue comes off as more of a first draft and could use a bit more refinement. The game takes a good half hour to really get going, but once it does, its world shows off impressive potential. Though it isn’t the open-ended, interconnected wilderness featured in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it’s apparent the developers took a lot of inspiration from it. There are many large, detailed areas for you to explore with treasure chests and other loot off the beaten path, skeletons at campfires, different enemies littering the landscape, and sidequests you can undertake from certain characters you come across in your travels. In fact, the design of the world and its various areas is perhaps the most impressive and compelling aspect of the game. Not only is it appealing from a visual standpoint, many of the areas are massive in size and can take 20+ minutes or more to traverse for first-time players, adding to the feeling that you’re on a long journey. There is also an oddly satisfying ‘Zelda meets Mario’ aspect to the gameplay, where it incorporates a lot of 3D platforming and vertical exploration in certain areas, giving the game a bit more of a unique flavor in contrast to typical adventure games. Likewise, the soundtrack composed by Will Bedford is excellent and evokes a real sense of adventure and wonder. The overworld theme has a heroic melody reminiscent of the Hyrule Field theme from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the Desert Proving Grounds theme is a real symphonic highlight, featuring an eclectic mix of strings, horns, flutes, and different kinds of unique percussion (such as bells). Unfortunately, that’s just about where the games’ good qualities stop. While the world is expansive and looks great, the actual characters look rather bland and mediocre. The enemy design is much more miss than hit, consisting of such things as generic, one-eyed snake creatures, generic skeletons with swords, scorpions, and other creatures that just aren’t that original or interesting. Making matters even worse is that they all use the same two or three sound effects, making them even more irritating. Perhaps the biggest issue of all is the combat and controls. For the most part, combat works just enough that you can get through the game, but it’s uneven and loose at best. Where it gets a bit dicey is when you face multiple enemies at once. There’s at least one major instance in the story where you’ll be faced with this scenario; however, you’ll realize that the battle system is largely designed around you fighting one enemy at a time. So while you’re attacking one, the rest are still doing (sometimes major) damage to you, and it’s impossible to dodge every attack. There are certain items (such as bombs) designed to attack large groups, but they’re not terribly effective, and the few multi-enemy attacks you have are not super viable because of how long they take to perform (you must wait and charge a few seconds before unleashing them). The flow of battle also simply isn’t fast enough for you to fight large groups of enemies evenly, leading Rusty to slowly fight one enemy and clumsily move to the next. Beyond that, a number of standard quality of life features that are generally present in games like this are either simply missing in this one, or not implemented as effectively as they should be. One major issue is there are no maps of each area beyond a simple, illustrated overworld map in your sub-menu. There’s a compass at the top of the screen that will show you which direction your objective is in, but it’s not 100% foolproof and can sometimes misguide you. Also, fast travel is something that’s implemented fairly early on in many games, yet you don’t even get access to it in the first half of this game even though you pass by many fast-travel stations (that you can't yet access) in your travels, forcing you to sometimes retrace your steps through long, winding areas. There’s also no way to sell off any loot you acquire early on, as well as no meaningful way to buy items (especially health-recovering ones) until the second major area you get to. This leads to another issue in that you simply don’t have enough inventory storage slots in the beginning, and thus no way to store some of the more valuable items you come across when you run out of room. And last but not least, there were a number of clipping issues I faced. In one area, my character simply stopped responding to any control input and I had to restart the game entirely to continue, and in yet other areas I would clip through the wall or floor and die instantly. Despite the negatives, I still had fun throughout the game, and there’s a lot to admire about A Knight’s Quest. Its world is one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen created by an indie team. The soundtrack is also exceptional and could easily be mistaken for a AAA title's score. Even much of the gameplay (especially dungeons) and main quest itself is pretty fun and compelling. There’s arguably a good game beneath a rough exterior here; if the game had another half a year or more of polish, I might’ve been able to call this a pretty good game. As it currently is, the negative aspects drag a good experience down to just a decent one at best. Pros + Large, impressive world with lots of sidequests and ripe for exploration + Soundtrack is great + Dungeons are surprisingly fun and capture a bit of the Zelda magic Cons - Issues with the fluidity of combat; fighting large groups is incredibly difficult and not really fair for players - Lack of standard quality of life features (especially early on) that would make the game much better and a lot more pleasant to play - Character and enemy models are a bit bland in design - Infrequent clipping issues at various points Overall Score: 6.5 (out of 10) Decent An impressive world (both visually and in design) and epic musical score are undermined by a number of issues plaguing gameplay as well as a lack of standard quality of life features, causing this Zelda-like title to be just a decent adventure at best for those brave enough to overcome its problems. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Switch code provided by the publisher.
  3. If you thought you were done with Wargroove after playing through its campaign, think again. Chucklefish announced today that its upcoming DLC, titled Wargroove: Double Trouble, is coming soon and will bring a heap of new features along with it, including a new campaign, all for the low, low price of absolutely free. The new story campaign focuses on the Outlaws faction and introduces new commanders such as the mighty Wulfar; two troublesome twins known as Errol and Orla; and the whip-wielding Vesper -- all of whom will participate in a heist after an unexpected kidnapping and some severe ransom demands. Other things in the new DLC include: 2 new units: Thieves and Riflemen New Arcade missions Competitive online Quick Play maps Public and Private Multiplayer Lobbies – you can now also play custom campaigns online! New Volcano map theme and more updates to the custom Editor tools Outlaw music tracks, composed by Phonetic Hero Editor tool updates Check out Wargroove's website to see updates on the latest balance changes and what the editor tool updates entail. Last but not least, Wargroove: Deluxe Edition (for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One) will be heading physically to stores on October 29. It will include a physical disc/cart of the game, a downloadable copy of the OST, a commander sprite sticker sheet, a poster map of Aurania (Outlaw version), a mini strategy guide with tips and stats on all in-game units, and a reversible cover sheet. As for the Wargroove: Double Trouble DLC, no release date has been announced yet but Chucklefish says it will be coming soon. Source: Chucklefish
  4. Dragon Quest fans are about to get another dose of the franchise soon as Square Enix announced today that the first three Dragon Quest titles will be making its way to Nintendo Switch later this month. These include Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line, and Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation -- all three of which make up what is known as the Erdrick Trilogy. Dragon Quest III in particular is largely considered to be one of the best in the series, so be sure to put that one on your radar if you haven't played any of these previously. The three Dragon Quest titles will cost $4.99, $6.49, and $12.49, respectively, and will be available to buy digitally on Nintendo Switch on September 27. Not coincidentally, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age also releases that day; it's a good time to be a Dragon Quest fan! Source: Press Release
  5. Jason Clement

    Steam Summer Sale 2017

    Pretty sure that's a bot you're responding to, DC. It's hard keeping up with all of the new ones that keep popping up here nowadays. But on the flipside, it's cool that you're still keeping an eye on this place! How've you been? Feels like forever since we've last talked. xD
  6. Knights and Bikes, London-based Foam Sword Games' first game, has officially gone gold and is coming to a PlayStation 4 or PC near you soon. Dubbed a "Goonies-inspired adventure," Knights and Bikes is a co-op, story-based adventure game that centers on two girls who are searching for the legendary cursed treasure of Penfurzy Island. Across the course of six days you'll explore the island, solve puzzles, talk to different people, and fight off the ancient curse that protects the treasure using such items as frisbees, water balloons, toilet plungers, a game gauntlet, and more. Also central to the gameplay are bikes, which you'll need to upgrade in order to visit certain areas of the island. If the game's painterly, cartoon-like aesthetic seems familiar to you, there's good reason for it: the game's central creators, Rex Crowle and Moo Yu, previously worked at Media Molecule on award-winning games such as LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway. Further bolstering the pedigree on the title is Kenny Young, another Media Molecule alum who also most recently worked on 2018's breakout VR hit Astro Bot Rescue Mission; and Daniel Pemberton, who composed much of the music for LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2, and was the composer for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Originally launching as a successful Kickstarter project in 2016, it's been a long ride for Knights and Bikes through its 3+ year development but you'll finally be able to play this whimsical adventure when it comes digitally to PlayStation 4 and PC on August 7. Check out the game's E3 2018 trailer below. Source: Foam Sword Games
  7. Hello Games has been gradually teasing No Man Sky's next update, Beyond, over the last year, but today they've finally announced when you can expect to play through the upcoming content: August 14. Beyond is described as 'three updates in one, and like prior updates, this one will also be free. Chief among the new inclusions is the inclusion of a 'radically new multiplayer and social experience' as well as support for VR, letting you become more immersed in the vastness of space and alien planets as you experience it first-hand. It's still a bit vague as to what the update entails in full but Hello Games will be trickling out information leading up to Beyond's release in a few weeks. Source: Hello Games
  8. PQube's and JoySteak Studio's Songbird Symphony is out on digital shops this week, and it stars a cute little bird named 'Birb' that sets off on an adventure to discover his heritage. As Birb, you'll move the environment around you by tapping in sync with background beats, solve different puzzles to add new sound queues to the background music, collect feathers to learn more about different birds, and explore interconnected levels with many different passages. Oh, and you'll participate in rhythm battles as well, and with its combination of platforming, rhythm, and puzzles, it definitely looks to be one of the more unique indie titles out this year. If that all sounds good to you, you can check out Songbird Symphony on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC (via Steam) for $16.99. And be sure to check out the trailer below! Source: Press Release
  9. Team17 is no stranger to games based on cooking thanks to publishing Ghost Town Game's mega smash Overcooked! series in recent years, and this week they're introducing a new game from Hermes Interactive that puts a bit of a different spin on the genre called Automachef. Instead of directly controlling the chefs like in the Overcooked! games, Automachef is all about automating the process via machinery. Essentially, it's one part puzzle game and one part resource management, in which you create the ideal layout for your culinary creations. There are three modes to play through: Campaign, Contracts, and Sandbox. Campaign focuses on having the player create efficient kitchens while keeping in mind spatial, energy, and resource management challenges. Contracts mode puts you in the role of a business owner in which you'll manage funds and expand your business. Lastly, Sandbox mode is exactly what it sounds like, letting you roam free and experiment with creating any type of kitchen you'd like. Oh, and if you play the game on PC, you'll have the option to use Steam Workshop to create your own recipes, ingredients, and levels. Automachef is available to buy digitally right now on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam for £10.99/14,99€/$14.99. Check out the launch trailer for the game below! Source: Press Release
  10. Over the weekend, Bandai Namco announced at Anime Expo that a pair of Digimon titles would be heading to the Nintendo Switch later this year -- namely, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, and its sequel, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth -- Hacker's Memory. Both will be included in one collection called Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition. The announcement comes as good news for fans of the series since the PlayStation 4 version of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (the English version of which originally released in 2016) is now out of print physically and was removed from the PlayStation Store in December 2018. While Bandai Namco's official response as to why it was removed is a bit cagey, it's largely assumed that it was due to the license (which Saban currently owns) ending for that particular title. In any case, fans can look forward to playing Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition when it lands on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam later this year on October 18. Source: Press Release
  11. Developer: Image & Form International AB Publisher: Thunderful Publishing AB Platform: Nintendo Switch Release Date: April 25, 2019 ESRB: E for Everyone At this point in Image & Form’s rapidly-expanding SteamWorld franchise we’ve had two incredible Metroidvania entries; an epic, space-faring tactical strategy title; and a lesser-known tower defense game for DSiware that started it all. According to studio head Brjann Sigurgeirsson, fans had been clamoring for the Swedish developer to give the RPG genre a go and it seems his team was all too happy to oblige. Thus, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech was born. A departure from the sci-fi setting of previous games in the series, SteamWorld Quest features a storybook tale that unfolds in an era of knights, dragons, and magic, narrated by SteamWorld Heist’s Seabrass in a welcome cameo. The journey begins with two adolescent female steambots named Armilly and Copernica -- a wannabe knight and a novice alchemist, respectively – who find themselves caught up in a plot against a rising evil. Along the way, you’ll pick up a few more party members and discover some unsettling truths about what’s really happening, and maybe even experience a twist or two. Naturally, SteamWorld Quest is a bit heavier on the narrative than previous games due to being an RPG. However, the cast is wisely kept smaller and contained versus large and unwieldy, thus giving each character just enough focus and attention to keep them interesting. The writing is downright hilarious at times too, once again showing that Image & Form really does have one of the best localization teams on the indie side of the industry. And though the plot is a little formulaic (yet entirely self-aware), the writers do subvert a few typical story tropes – the two main leads are both female, for one -- and ultimately, there are fulfilling arcs for each of the characters by the time the credits roll. Unlike many other 2D RPGs where a top-down or isometric view is standard, the out-of-battle sequences in SteamWorld Quest take place in a side-scrolling manner where you’ll mostly move from left to right (and vice versa) and screen to screen, coming across the occasional treasure chest and/or puzzle, a shopkeeper, and scores of enemies. Touch an enemy (they’ll be alerted to your presence if you come too close) and you’ll initiate a battle, which is far and away the best part of this game. In fact, I’ve never played a card-based battle system that I enjoyed more than this one. The mechanics are kept surprisingly simple: at the beginning of each battle, you’re dealt eight “punch cards” randomly from your deck of 24 (which you can customize throughout the game), and you can play up to three cards each turn. Playing base cards (usually lower level attacks that have no number) will help you build up your steam power gauge, in turn allowing you to play even stronger cards that unleash powerful attacks, restore health, or cast buffs that help your team (or debuffs on your enemies). What really propels the gameplay in a big way are the variety of options at your disposal. Sure, you can play your cards as they’re dealt, but you can also strategically choose to pass on some in order to get the right combination to line up special combos that can, at times, save your bacon entirely. The battle system is also amazingly well-balanced. I played on the Normal difficulty, but the challenge remained consistent throughout, picking up toward the end. Image & Form did a great job making boss fights feel alive and engaging thanks to a number of different scenarios you’ll have to play through. For example, one boss poisons your characters every five turns, forcing you to constantly switch between damage control and going on the offense. Other bosses might have lackeys or pawns whose extra attacks and damage can add up over time unless you defeat them. Creative scenarios like this kept me looking forward to each and every battle, which is a rarity for me when it comes to RPGs. If there’s one thing that disappointed me, it’s the lack of activities and interaction with the world outside of battles. There’s little to no interaction with NPCs due to them being sparse, little to no side quests that you can carry out that either reward you with more loot or delves deeper into the game’s lore, no interesting minigames to shake things up, and no engaging puzzles aside from the ‘lite’ ones you come across (find a switch to open a gate, or rotate images a certain way to open a door, etc.). While the battle system is near perfect, the out-of-battle activities and exploration are the biggest aspects Image & Form could and should expand upon should they give the game a sequel (or create other RPGs like it). Still, the game has so much going for it that it’s easy to overlook this aspect this time around. The art, like in other recent SteamWorld games, is fantastic and draws on the strengths of Image & Form’s talented and creative team while the music keeps the story suspenseful and allows for some lighter moments as well. If you’ve played other SteamWorld titles, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that SteamWorld Quest is another great entry. And if you’re hesitant because you’re not sure what to make of the card-based battle system, be assured that this is easily one of the best battle systems I’ve ever played in an RPG; it’s both fun and engaging, as is the deck-building element. While the game still has some room to grow for next time (more out-of-battle activities, for example), SteamWorld Quest is a tremendous first step into the RPG genre for Image & Form’s ambitious franchise and more than lives up to the lofty expectations the studio has set with its prior games. Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great SteamWorld Quest is fun, zany, and boasts what is possibly the best card-based battle system in any game to date. Though not without room to improve, this is yet another genre Image & Form has shown considerable skill and expertise developing in, and I can't wait to see what's next. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Switch code provided by the publisher
  12. It seems Epic Games is on a warpath to dominate the video game market these days, from their recent inroads with the Epic Game Store and acquiring exclusive rights to game debuts to riding high with Fortnite -- currently the most popular game in the world. Now it has been announced that the publisher is acquiring Rocket League developer, Psyonix. The transaction was discussed in a new post on Psyonix's website today and revealed that nothing is changing for Rocket League due to the acquisition. Not much was revealed about what this means for the developer other than expanded resources and reach for their popular eSports title, but Psyonix does state that the game will be heading to the Epic Games Store in the long run. According to The Verge, Rocket League will no longer be available on Steam after that point. As for the acquisition itself, Psyonix and Epic Games expect the transaction to close around the end of May to early June 2019. Source: Psyonix, The Verge
  13. When the SEGA Genesis Mini was announced in March, only ten of its forty included games were revealed, with the company set to announce the remaining titles leading up to the launch. Now the mini console's next ten titles have been revealed, including a few surprises. The newly announced titles include the following: Earthworm Jim Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Contra: Hard Corps Thunder Force III Super Fantasy Zone Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Streets of Rage 2 Landstalker As a reminder, here's a look at the total revealed list so far: While the first ten games that were revealed are 90% SEGA-published titles, the inclusion of three third party-published titles with the ten newly revealed games (Earthworm Jim, Castle of Illusion, and World of Illusion, specifically), two of them being licensed titles, shows that SEGA is going beyond their own library of games to include a good mix of the best and most classic titles on the console; not unlike what Nintendo has done with the NES and SNES Classics. Speaking of Castle of Illusion and its sequel, both games' inclusion have many fans excited at the prospect of potentially having more licensed games be part of the twenty games that have yet to be revealed. The Genesis was no stranger to great licensed Disney games in particular, including Aladdin (of which the Genesis port is widely claimed to be the best version of the game), The Lion King, The Jungle Book, Toy Story, and many others. However, it's safe to say that the remaining 70-75% of the list will likely be SEGA-published titles, so the prospect of even just one or two more Disney games appears low, especially considering that there are two core Sonic titles and two spin-offs of the series that are likely to make the list as well. In any event, SEGA has been revealing ten games of the Genesis Mini's confirmed forty titles every month so far, so the next ten will likely be unveiled in May if the company sticks to this pattern. The Genesis Mini is set to release on September 19, 2019 for $79.99.
  14. Former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime is now enjoying his retirement from the company as of this week and, having just recently joined Twitter, he's shared an image of an epic painting that he received from The Game Awards' Geoff Keighley (and commissioned by artist Sam Spratt) to commemorate his time with Nintendo. The painting depicts Fils-Aime with his hands in the air as if he's manipulating marionettes as he's positioned over three of his most popular animated likenesses, as listed below. (From left to right in the painting) Reggie's Mii - which was most famously shown off during the reveal for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS Puppet Reggie (some would say "Muppet" Reggie) - whom made his memorable appearance in a Nintendo Digital Event during E3 2015 and was designed/crafted by none other than Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Robot Chicken figure Reggie - whom made his appearance during Nintendo's 2014 E3 Presentation, which the Robot Chicken creators created special segments for. In any case, the painting certainly is an epic sendoff for the beloved former NOA president, who is now retired with Nintendo currently at the top of their game (no pun intended) in the industry. Source: Twitter
  15. One of this year's most anticipated superhero games finally has a release date. Today Nintendo revealed that fans would get the opportunity to play as Marvel's most popular superheroes in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order on July 19, exclusively on Nintendo Switch (through both retail and the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch). The game's story pits Marvel's Finest against the villainous Thanos and his cohort, The Black Order, as they engage in a race to find the Infinity Stones before the latter can use them to unleash chaos on the universe. Along with iconic superhero mainstays like Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, you'll also be able to play as other characters such as Black Panther, Deadpool, Doctor Strange, and even Spider-Gwen; all of which will have their own unique abilities and power sets. Also, in addition to playing through the story solo, you'll be able to play co-op with friends via local play or online play; the latter of which you'll need an active Nintendo Switch Online membership (which costs $20) in order to use. Despite the title's current exclusivity to Switch, it is currently unknown if this is a timed exclusive or a lifetime deal (Team Ninja is the game's developer). Square Enix's Octopath Traveler was exclusive to Switch upon its release last year but a Steam version of the game was announced recently, so we'll have to wait and see what happens with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. Source: Press Release
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