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Found 6 results

  1. gaiages

    Review: Megabyte Punch

    Developer: Reptile Games Publisher: Reptile Games Platform: PC ( Download, Desura, Gamers Gate, Steam) Release Date: August 6, 2013 ESRB: N/A (E recommended) Megabyte Punch is a special little game. It's a bunch of different unique titles mashed together. I mean, what would you think if you heard of a title that took a healthy helping of Custom Robo, added mechanics and elements from the Super Smash Bros. series, and added some Metroid-styled exploration to boot? That sort of mash-up just doesn't seem as though it'd work out--but that's what Megabyte Punch is, and it does it very, very well. In a virtual world, you gain the control of a Megac (a robotic creature) that is tasked by the Heartcore of the Megac village to protect it from an oncoming evil. It's a very simple story, and one you won't hear much of throughout the game. Still, it works well enough as a plot device, and gives you enough of a reason to traverse the title's six sprawling levels. When you enter a level, you have three stages to explore and a boss fight at the end of it. The stages themselves are pretty big and have plenty of nooks and crannies to explore... and exploring is also worth the effort, with a bunch of parts and colors to collect to customize your Megac with. Getting new parts will help you to get past the multitude of enemies the game will throw at you. You can customize every part of your robot, and give it combat abilities and other enhancements like increased speed and defense. Some of the 150 parts you can find are repeats, offering only cosmetic changes, but there are still a variety of choices available. When you run across enemies, it's then that the game's Super Smash Bros. influence comes in. Enemies don't have a static health bar; instead, the more damage they take, the easier it'll be to launch into the air and into walls. If you can hit them with enough velocity, they'll go flying and smash into bits (64 give you an extra life in the stages) and parts. Obviously, the same goes for you, so you want to make sure not to take too much damage, and if you do, make sure not to get hit with a powerful attack. While in the stages themselves, you don't have to worry about the damage mechanics too much, but during the boss fights, strategy become paramount. Bosses are one-on-one fights in an open arena, and depleting the boss's lives while staying alive is important. Boss fights tend to be the more challenging part of Megabyte Punch, but thankfully if you fail during a boss battle, you can warp back to the fight without going through the stages again to minimize frustration. For the most part, this game is challenging, but isn't frustrating. I've died multiple times in my journeys through the game's six stages, but for the most part I never really thought Megabyte Punch was being unfair. However, when I got to the final stage and boss, that changed. A new hazardous threat and some harsh level design changed the game from 'challenging' to 'frustrating' very quickly as I was thrown about like a pinball while trying to wall-jump. The final set of bosses felt a little cheap in their tactics too (though not as much the final boss as the ones before it); this is upsetting because the final area is marred by what was otherwise a near-perfect experience. Another thing (though it's more of a note than a negative) is that this game is best played with a gamepad or 360 controller plugged in to your computer. While the title does allow for keyboard control, it's pretty difficult and cumbersome to actually play the game with them, especially when considering that you do special moves by inputting a direction plus the special moves button. It's certainly possible to play without, but Megabyte Punch is really meant to be played with a controller, and trying to do otherwise will put a damper on the experience. Really though, Megabyte Punch is a pretty impressive game, and certainly worth the $14.99 entry fee for the regular edition. The Special Edition, which for five more dollars comes with the soundtrack, extra versus stages, and other little goodies is harder to recommend, so unless you really want the soundtrack, I'd only recommend the regular edition. But, give the game a download--you won't be disappointed! Pros: + Challenging skill-based gameplay is fun and feels rewarding + Large number of collectable parts and colors to find Cons: - Last level turns from challenging to frustrating - Hard to play without a gamepad, which can deter those without one Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Megabyte Punch is a great genre mash-up that everyone should give a try.
  2. Jordan Haygood

    Review: Double Dragon: Neon

    Developer: WayForward Technologies Publisher: Majesco Entertainment Platform: XBLA, PSN Release Date: Out Now ESRB: T for Teen This review is based on the PSN version of the game It's no secret that WayForward Technologies loves to give a helping hand in rebooting old franchises, what with Contra 4, A Boy and His Blob, and BloodRayne: Betrayal all previously under their belt. And now it seems they've gotten their hands on the Double Dragon license and decided to release a retro reboot Double Dragon: Neon for XBLA and PSN. Borrowing so heavily from its forefathers, you may think this game's a remake at first glance, but once you get to know it a little better, you'll soon see what makes Neon something new. Unfortunately, this game has too many flaws to be as enjoyable as it could have been... What do you get when twin brothers fight an evil Skeletor wannabe to save a girl they both like? What? New Super Mario Bros.? What on Earth gave you THAT idea? Anyway, the correct answer is the story for this game, because that's basically the gist of it. In Double Dragon: Neon, twins Billy and Jimmy Lee chase after the boney Skullmageddon to rescue their kidnapped love interest. Why does Skeletor Skullmageddon want to kidnap her? Who cares! The details aren't important. In fact, neither is the story in general. Similar to the vast majority of the beat-'em-up arcade games of yore, this game is all about the gameplay. The story is just an excuse to catapult us into the action. And the action sure is fun. Correction: the action sure is fun if you have a bro playing with you. Arcade beat-'em-ups were always meant to be played in co-op (or in this case, "bro-op"), and Double Dragon: Neon is no exception (it's called "Double Dragon," not "Single Dragon"). In that sense, it's a shame that the game doesn't currently have any online bro-op. Basically, you'll have to invite someone over or play with a relative/roommate/clone to get the most out of your brawling experience until a patch can be released. Take away that other person, and the game gets significantly less fun. Especially considering how cumbersome the mechanics can be. For instance, if you aren't lined up EXACTLY on the same level as your enemy, you will almost definitely miss. Neon expects you to be precise in your attacks when the game itself just doesn't allow it. Furthermore, the game moves far too slowly. Seriously, this game is supposed to be a reboot, not a remake. So why do the Lee bros. have to keep up with their slower-than-molasses past selves? You won't save the girl at that pace, boys! Sure, they threw in a sprint, but it's way too sluggish for you to use it very often. And with the slow walking and sluggish running, the platforming segments are frustrating as hell. Yes, I said it; Neon throws in platforming segments in most of its levels, and...let's just say I fell to my doom enough times to know that it doesn't do a very good job. It goes without saying (but I'm gonna say it anyway) that Double Dragon: Neon pretty much nails it when it comes to catering to nostalgics. With its powerful mullets, air-guitar solos, and era-appropriate music, this update is actually much more '80s than the '80s original. And speaking of music, that may very well be the best thing this game has going for it. With such radical, groovy, and [some other silly word from back then] songs, the soundtrack sounds like it stepped right out of 80s radio. Basically, the music is so...um...gnarly that the soundtrack itself might be worth owning (it's free), even if you feel the game isn't. Sadly, I can't say the same about the God-awful voice acting. I swear, Double Dragon: Neon has some truly atrocious voice acting, and when you throw some horribly-cheesy dialogue into the pot, things sometimes get a little hard to bear. Thankfully, Neon also has some pretty humorous dialogue that compliments the cheese like it's delicious fondue. Especially when the game makes fun of itself. I love when games do that. Going back to the subject of music, Neon made it a point to make music a hugely emphasized part of this game. Namely, some of the newly-added features were “tuned†up for the game. For example, when your bro“s health hits zero, you must rewind a cassette tape with a pencil if you hope to keep him alive. Another of these music-themed features is the skills system, otherwise known as “songs.†As you progress through each level, you will find songs to build your supply of passive and special abilities, whether from enemies dropping them or purchasing from shops. And the more you find, the higher your songs will level up. And as you defeat bosses, you gain a certain currency that you can spend at the “Tapesmith†to increase your song limit. Unfortunately, the game is too short for these things to have much meaning, and playing through levels multiple times to master skills just gets tedious. But as tough as Neon gets on harder difficulties, that may be your only option if you hope to reach the credits… Also, you know how this game has the sub-title “Neon†(if you don“t, where have you been?)? Well, that“s exactly what the game“s graphical style reminds me of. Like neon lights, Double Dragon: Neon is a very bright and colorful game. It“s beautiful, and makes the game a pleasure to look at. Double Dragon: Neon is a nice little update to a great arcade classic. It brings back some of the magic of the original while still managing to spice things up a bit with things like a unique skills system, awesome '80s-esque music, and of course, a fresh, modern look. But none of that hides the obvious flaws the game throws at you, such as clunky gameplay mechanics, lackluster level design choices, and some…questionable voice acting. It“s such a hit-and-miss sort of game, it“s hard to say whether or not you should spend ten bucks on it. I guess if you like beat-”em-ups and have someone to play with, it“s worth a buy. Pros: + Bro-op play is really fun + The radical soundtrack is fun to listen to + Customizable skills system allows for more interesting combat + Bright, colorful graphics are a pleasure to look at Cons: - Gameplay is really cumbersome and broken in some places - Some lackluster level design choices get in the way - Voice acting is atrocious - Too short for some features to have much meaning Overall Score: 6 (out of 10) Decent Double Dragon: Neon is a fun trip down memory lane with great, catchy music and fun "bro-op" play. Unfortunately, there are too many flaws in this game to make it as enjoyable as it could have been.
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