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  1. Contest is closed! Winner has been announced! I can do giveaways too. So, Abyss Odyssey is on Midweek Madness on Steam this week, but 50% may not be a big enough discount for some people. No, some people may be waiting for 75% off. But what if you could get it for 100% off? Here's your chance! So how do you enter for this wonderful chance at winningness? Keep reading! HOW TO ENTER: Since Abyss Odyssey has a pretty distinct art style, I thought it would make sense to keep to that topic. So, for an entry into the contest, simply post and tell us what game's art/visual style you like the most, and why! You can be as detailed as you want, really, but the point is, just tell us a game that you thought looked pretty darn neat and why it spoke to you. And now for the fun part... QUALIFICATIONS, TIMING, AND SO FORTH: -Contest is for one (1) copy of the game on Steam -You must have made an introduction thread in the New Members forum. -The giveaway will be open until Saturday, October 18 at 11:59 PM EST, and I'll pick the winner on Sunday! -the winner will need to PM me his/her Steam name or e-mail address so I can send them the gift, as it's in my Steam inventory. -Assuming we're not already friends on Steam. And...that's pretty much it for that section. But wait, there's more! Since I'm such a nice person (according to myself!) no one is a not-winner in this giveaway! After I announce the winner of the grand prize of Abyss Odyssey, I'll post a list of games I have extra Steam keys for in the spoiler below, and anyone who entered the contest is eligible to ask for one (1) of those games! What games will I give out? You'll have to wait and see! Heck, some of them might even be better than the grand prize, but that's a matter of opinion. Games for not-winners are in this post because if I have the list in two places I'll inevitably forget to update one of them. So remember, even if you don't win Abyss Odyssey, you'll still get a consolation prize! So what are you waiting for? Get to talking about your favorite art styles in games and get your entry in before Saturday night! And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. Good luck! -Disclaimer: This contest is in no way conducted or endorsed by GamePodunk.com, it's just me, Venom, doing my thing, so any issues should be taken up with me.
  2. WildCardCorsair

    Review: Abyss Odyssey

    Developer: ACE Team Publisher: Atlus Platform: PlayStation 3 (PSN) Xbox 360, PC (Steam) Release Date: July 15, 2014 ESRB: T for Teen Abyss Odyssey, the latest from Chilean developers Ace Team, is a bit of an odd duck. It's a combination of rogue-like, RPG, and fighting game with Chilote folklore for added flavor. Truth be told, my fondest experiences with this game was not actually playing it, but finding out more about it. Is that a bad thing? Well you“re about to find out, if you keep reading of course (which I highly recommend you do)! From the character designs and 2D character portraits to the setting and premise of the story itself, Abyss Odyssey is exotic and full of personality. The Chilean art style designs are particularly captivating. Characters like the Paganini, a devilish, skeletal violin player, partially based on the legend of Italian violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini, is a hauntingly alluring character. Other creatures and deities like La Pincoya, Invulche, a manticore (referred to as the “living creature”), and caballos marino chiloe (a.k.a. water horses) are outstandingly gorgeous. Designs for even regular enemies are fantastic, a reason that allows me to forgive their repetition (across multiple playthrough especially). I certainly had my share of fun playing, but throwing myself deep in to Chiloe culture was a major bonus brought about by Abyss Odyssey so when I say I had more fun researching the game than I did playing it I totally mean that as a compliment. The only negative is that the story doesn“t receive much closure (perhaps due to a community threshold I“ll talk about later) and it“s almost entirely ”opt in“. The story is mostly found in the collectable pages of the warlock“s journal, which are seemingly randomly dropped by enemies throughout the game; without reading these you“ll basically know little to nothing about what“s going on. When it comes to the game itself, its design is every bit as interesting as the setting“s. As I mentioned before, the game is a very odd hybrid, though it won“t appear that way in the screenshots. At it“s heart it“s definitely a rogue-like. I know that“s a term that is generally a catch-all in gaming press so here“s the skinny. You have an abyss with multiple paths that is randomly generated. Layout, enemies, hidden rooms, altars (at which you can set respawn points or revive your character), all of them will be scattered around to different locations and rooms each time you go it. The enemies also appear to scale in difficulty to your level, though they are in a relation to you based on the room. This makes every playthrough different. Be prepared to curse your fate when altars are placed several rooms apart, or rejoice when you come across hidden rooms with lots of gold and items. The action RPG elements come in through your character's“ progression. You start off with Katrien but you can unlock the Ghost Monk and La Pincoya fairly quickly as well. Each will retain the levels they earn or the skills they improve, but items and weapons are a blank slate each run. Though many people reference Super Smash Bros. for the “brawler” style fighting game combat, the truth is that isn“t a fair comparison. There are two attack buttons, one for regular attacks and one for special attacks. Unlike regular attacks, special attacks can be mapped to any (or multiple) combinations. Pressing forward+special can unleash a flurry of sword thrusts much like Chun-Li“s Hyakuretsukyaku. Or you can map it to down+special. Or up+special. After you“ve decided on a proper placement for your special attacks you can further customize them by enhancing them. Each move can have its damage increased, the MP it generates increased, or added damage mitigation or invincibility frames. In addition, each move has three slots for enhancements, and there are several moves to choose from (though they must be found before they can be used). You can even use skill points to cancel out regular attacks with special attacks allowing you to chain together longer and more impressive combos. You don“t start off with the ability to do any of this really, but as times goes on and you unlock new attacks and skill points the game grows with you which is pretty neat, I think. So where as a game like Smash Bros. doesn“t really have much (or any) combo ability, this game takes the brawler gameplay type and gives it the kind of customization and move set that encourages players to experiment and develop their own play styles. But as nice as the gameplay is, it does have some shortcomings. In particular, platforming aspects within the abyss are made harder by a few design choices and bugs. Your character can“t turn in the air, so if you jump past an enemy, or attack too quickly after hitting the ground you“ll likely be facing the wrong way, leaving your back exposed to enemy exploitation. There are also a few times in which you“ll have to jump across a hazardous sea atop these large floating jellyfish. I don“t know quite what causes it, but occasionally your character will slide around on them. If this happens there seems to be about a fifty-fifty chance you“ll lose your second jump, causing you to drown (or whatever) and spawn just before crossing with a chunk of your HP gone. I can“t begin to explain how frustrating it was for me to lose valuable HP because of this. Lastly, co-op is wholly unappealing due to “friendly fire” occurring between players. I“m not sure why this ever seemed like a good idea, but I assure you it is not. Thankfully the developers have been public about removing this, or at least adding an option to toggle it off, but until that update happens (if at all) co-op is far more trouble than it“s worth. So all of this so far has been all well and good. There are some definite highs and some definite lows. There is however more to this game, which frankly I can“t fully explain unfortunately! You see, the developers can track how many times players have beaten the boss. Once that happy mask wearing brujo takes enough dirt naps, he“ll undergo some kind of change. As I mentioned before I feel like this will probably allow more closure for the story to take place. In addition to changes to the boss, there are a few other changes ACE Team has said will take place, though specifics on what those might be are probably being held tighter than dudes trying to pull the sword out of the stone. All I do know is these changes will continue to take place each time the warlock“s mask breaks, which you can tell because the progress is reflected in-game at altars bearing the warlock“s mask. This game has the potential to be a lot better than the score I“m about to give it, and from the looks of it (via comments by ACE Team developers on a number of public forums) it will. Which makes me happy because the ideas behind Abyss Odyssey are truly top notch and it would be great if this game could succeed so other developers might be inspired to think outside the box as well. It might not be perfect, and it deserves some more work to fully realize the ideas that were envisioned by the developers, but the game still does a great job setting itself apart from other titles. The eclectic blend of various genres and gameplay mechanics makes it a pretty unique experience worth checking out for anyone looking for something new. The experience, even without the post release changes ACE Team has hinted at, is solid but I can only hope a few of the more nagging flaws do indeed get some attention. Until then, rest assured there are few games out there quite like Abyss Odyssey. Pros: + Beautiful and exotic artwork/designs + Bursting with interesting Chilote folklore + Plenty of character/combo possibilities + Ongoing player base-driven changes Cons: - Combos and special attacks must be earned - Co-op frustrating due to "friendly fire" - Jumping related issues make platforming harder than needed Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good Abyss Odyssey is highly unique and has a lot to offer players looking for something out of the ordinary, but a few nagging bugs/design choices and a slow build up might turn players away from the otherwise rich design. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher.
  3. WildCardCorsair

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  4. WildCardCorsair

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  5. WildCardCorsair

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  6. WildCardCorsair

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  7. Marcus Estrada

    Zeno Clash 2 Unleashed on April 30th

    If you never played Zeno Clash then you're not alone. The game originally came to PC in 2009 (and on Xbox 360 in 2010) but never really gained a large following. Those who did experience the game though often remark on the distinctive visuals and gameplay. Developer ACE Team are now set to expand their audience with Zeno Clash 2. Zeno Clash 2 is coming soon - really soon. On April 30th the game is launching on Steam and offers a few reasons to pick it up early. As is the norm, pre-ordering includes a 10% discount, making it $18. More interesting is the fact that pre-orders reward players with the original Zeno Clash alongside its sequel. If you already have the original then you can send the copy to a buddy. Also offered is a special edition which comes with a digital soundtrack and artbook as well as a copy of the original game. Unlike the pre-orders, this set always includes both games and costs more (currently $27). Now the question is if those who have never experienced the game will be willing to part with their money now or wait for an upcoming Steam sale.