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Enter the Dungeon – Review

Most people might think that Enter The Gungeon looks like it offers nothing new with its obvious heavy influence from games like The Binding Of Isaac and Nuclear Throne. However, it’s been on my wish list for some time and a few weeks ago it was in a sale and I could no longer resist the temptation to buy it.

Details & Purchase options

  • Enter the Gungeon (PC, Mac, Linux and PlayStation 4)
  • Developer: Dodge Roll
  • Publisher: Devolver Digital
  • Released: April 5, 2016
  • Cost:

Overview

Enter the Gungeon was developed by ex-members of Mythic Entertainment and the game is mostly a side on twin stick, bullet hell, roguelike shooter. That is a lot of buzzwords all stuck together and I totally understand if you are one of these people that will just roll their eyes and think “not another one”.

You play one of four playable characters each with their own unique starting ability. For instance, The Marine activates a sort of smart bomb when he is hit for the fist time, the Rogue style character (who reminds me a bit of Han Solo) gets a lockpick that can be used to unlock the loot chests. All characters have the ability to dodge roll which enables you to avoid gunfire and learning to use this skill is absolutely essential to the game because it can get a bit hectic in the Gungeon. Rooms are procedurally generated and then pieced together and populated with enemies at random. Your goal is to work your way through the Gungeon picking up and taking advantage of new weaponry and taking out the bosses to seek out a legendary gun that could erase the past.

Enter The Gungeon

Gameplay

When I first booted the game I tried to play it with a keyboard but my brain just yelled at me until I plugged in my gamepad. Yep, like most twins stick style shooters having a good gamepad is absolutely the way forward. I have not put many hours into the game as yet but it is certainly a game I can feel myself revisiting quite a bit and I get the feeling that even after I put 40 hours in I would still be finding new things from time to time. Take a look at all the content in their official Wiki to get an idea of the amount of content there is in the game. Rogue shooters are supposed to be tough and Enter The Gungeon is no exception to this rule. It offers you upgrades at the beginning (once you have unlocked them) and throughout the game if you choose to spend the time to find the shop in the level.

Money is issued to you upon defeating an enemy (in the form of cute little bullet casings) so the more enemies you kill then the more money you have to spend in the shop. You’ll need this to buy ammo for guns because I have found that ammo can be pretty rare so far. Although saying this I think that you probably need to treat the guns as almost a throwaway resource. You always have at least one gun, the starting pistol has infinite ammo but obviously does not do a lot of damage. Finding new guns and trying them out is always a rewarding experience because some of them have imagination applied to them. There is (believe it or not) a gun that actually fires other guns and you can use it in multiple ways. Hit your opponents directly with a gun and you will damage/kill them or shoot the gun so that it goes close to them and it might hit them with the bullets it ejects along its path.

Enter The Gungeon

The scenery is beautifully destructive for a sprite based game. As far as I have seen breaking open the vases give you no reward but it is strangely satisfying. The libraries are one of my favourite rooms, just because at the end of the battle it’s usually in a massive state of carnage. You also have the ability to upturn tables for temporary cover and push as well as destroy barrels which may or may not be explosive. There is also a co-op mode where you can take on the Gungeon with another player, this only works locally though so don’t think that you can hook up with your Steam buddies for this.

Verdict

The game got pretty incredible reviews across the board with Destructoid and EGM giving it a score of 9/10. Even the ever critical Metacritic has it sitting at (currently) 84%.

I think the game’ style really does something towards me liking it. The destructible environments really add to the feel, the enemies are wide and varied and each have their own shooting behaviour that you need to learn. Graphics wise it does nothing new with its pixel styling but it is done well. This game looks like it should happily sit on a Commodore 64 or Amiga, basically an old computer but it takes advantage a little of modern technology.

Enter The Gungeon Shop

Being a rogue game the difficulty is there, it has to be. I think without it this game would end up being yet another plain shooter that you learn the levels, learn the patterns and finish it in next to no time. You know what I’m like I always ask myself would I pay RRP for it? Okay I picked it up in a sale and yes in a sale it’s a bargain but it’s certainly worth £10.99. If you’re into shooters and like a touch of bullet hell with your rogue then I would advise picking this up.

Have you played Enter The Gungeon? Have you played the co-op mode? If you have please tell us how it is. You can get in touch with us at our usual locations of the comments section below and Facebook and Twitter


What I’m Looking Forward To As Press

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One of the great things you get to do if you choose to write for GeekOut South-West, is to attend a convention or expo on our behalf. Of course, you have to arrange your own travel and accommodation but with a magical thing called a Press Pass, you will get into the show normally for free and also you probably won’t have to queue up too. Last year I took it upon myself to attend the Play Expo and managed to get two press passes to the show, having never entered an Expo as press before it was an exciting time. A few weeks have gone by since we applied for Press Passes for the UKGE, and just last week we got confirmation that our application has been accepted and that our names are on the list.

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The Marvellous Miss Take

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It’s always a joy to play a game that feels just right and The Marvellous Miss Take is one of them. It’s just one of those rare blends of style, substance and gameplay. It released back in 2014 and was developed in the UK by Wonderstruck who are currently hard at work on their big open world project called Boundless which I must admit looks rather fantastic.

It currently runs on Mac and Windows and is available via GOG ($18.69 USD), Steam and Humble Bundle (£14.99 GBP) although if your patient you can easily pick it up in a sale for under £5.

MainMenu

Overview

You play Miss Sofia Take a beautiful and deceptive art thief on a quest to traverse through 25 art galleries liberating art as you go. You are no ordinary thief; no it’s all about style when it comes to Miss Take. You can use various methods of distraction to make the guards change their routine, enabling you to sneak behind them or take a different route to avoid them.

The game itself takes on an isometric look and has a beautiful cell-shaded style that reminds me a lot of the now-classic RTS ‘Evil Genius’. It’s a very individual style because so very few games can get away with this art style but The Marvellous Miss Take does this perfectly. It’s really suited to the characters and the storyline, I could not see the game working as well as it does if the graphics were more realistic.
Hiding From A Guard

Gameplay

You control Sofia by using the mouse to click on an area to move to. In general, she will take the shortest route to your selected area so you generally have to keep clicks close to your character. Double clicking an area will force Miss Take to dash which makes a lot more noise than her normal walk and will attract the attention of the guards if they are close enough. The game is purely non-violent with no way to disable the guards so you have to learn your distraction techniques quickly. Fans of the Metal Gear Solid series will certainly find something to relate to here.

Games that use tutorials can sometimes take all the fun out of playing the game. They do this by leading you fully down the path whereas a suggestion of which path to take would have been a much better approach. The Marvellous Miss Take in my opinion has one of the best tutorials I have ever played. It slowly and regularly introduces new mechanics before leaving you alone with them to experiment and hone your new skill.

Posing

The skills you need are not exactly difficult to pick up but the game also ramps up the difficulty. Starting out with just plain guards you’re soon introduced to security cameras and then sniffer dogs all of which make your art liberation that much harder. This is where the game falls down a little because the movements of the guards can be quite unpredictable and therefore make your beautiful plan go utterly wrong. Some people may argue that this adds difficulty to the game and others might find it totally unfair. I fell into both of these camps where sometimes it just felt unfair that I got caught and sometimes I got caught because I was taking too much of a risk.

Verdict

The Marvellous Miss Take is by no means flawless, but I think its style makes up a lot for what failings it has. It’s a fairly short game all in all, but there is nothing to stop you from replaying the levels to try to beat your best time. The introduction of The Fox (a second playable character) gives the game a bit of a boost because his missions are significantly more challenging. Although the punishment of failure can be quite hard, at least the game reloads the level quickly, allowing you to get on with your next attempt. There are also optional bits of art that you can skip over if you are feeling like the level is being too challenging. But the art for me is a bit like pokémon, where I really have to steal them all or I will not be satisfied.

Keeping with the theme of satisfaction I must say that the level of satisfaction you get for completing a level and within the given time limit is quite a big lure of the game. It certainly feels rewarding to of got away with all of the loot without any of the guards even noticing you. I love the way that Sofia loses her hat if she is being chased, being a person of style she will not leave her hat behind so once you have managed to shake the guards you have to retrieve your hat.

On The Run

Yep, this was worth the money in my opinion. One of the games that I have truly enjoyed playing. Have you played The Marvellous Miss Take? Tell us what you thought of the style and gameplay? Was it worth the money? Is this the kind of game that might interest you? Give us all your feedback via the comments section, Twitter and Facebook


UK Games Expo 2017

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Last year I managed to attend the Play Expo up in Manchester, got to meet one of my heroes, played some fun games, spoke to some lovely people and in general had a really nice time. We asked you last year if there are any more Expo’s that you think GeekOut should try to attend and report on. I have already asked my niece to see if they would want me to take them to one of the many Anime Expo’s scattered around the country but this week whilst browsing one of my regular sites I saw a link that I found sparked my interest.

2017advert

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Evernote’s privacy changes

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In today’s online world, it sometimes pays big online corporations to listen to their audience. Consumers these days have a much bigger voice with social media; Any company, that does not at least attempt to listen to their fans is probably doomed to failure. Sometimes these corporations forget this and get it oh so very wrong. Take what happened when Facebook took over Instagram as an example, that went horribly wrong and yes, Facebook eventually turned around on their decision… But it does make me wonder how many people instantly shut down their accounts, then never trusted Instagram ever again?

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Life at the BBC

For those of you not in the know, I used to work for the BBC. It was actually my second major programming job back in 2002, I remember turning up for the interview suited and booted but still had my goatee and my septum piercing. Even then I was convinced that I didn’t need to remove these to get into a good company. I was certainly nervous for the interview and I walked into Bush House which has an interesting history and was mostly used for the BBC’s world service radio programs.

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What Will I Do In 2017?

House Sold

I found that in the past being super critical of myself has not been very helpful and actually makes me less motivated, so I opt for a New Year wish list instead of New Year resolutions. I promised myself I won’t mention Brexit or the inevitable inauguration of one Donald Trump so don’t expect this to be political and in no particular order.

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What Meetups Mean To Me

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So as I mentioned last week that it has now been a year since I actually first encountered GeekOut. This also means that I have been to about 9 out of the potential 12 meetings that have happened in that time and I am happy to say that most of them have been fun. I got involved by finding out about the meet-ups via the MeetUp website. Since I don’t have a Facebook account when I moved to Bristol I began to look for groups that I could join that I might be able to make new friends at. I then began to read this website and reached out to it to see if they would accept an article from me.

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Stocking Filler: Imploding Kittens

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So it’s now been over a year since my first article that I wrote for GeekOut but my regular Wednesday slot started on 16th December 2015. It’s been an interesting challenge writing for the site. At times my mind has slipped into panic as it desperately tries to figure out what I’m going write about. I’ve tried hard to find interesting content; not only to write about, but also for our readers, so I hope you have enjoyed the content.

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Re-watching Akira

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I watched my first anime back in my early teens, I think I started with the bizarre and rather extreme Fist Of The North Star. Now I am no Anime aficionado, but I like to think I know great animation and story when I see it. Akira (the film) was adapted from a comic book and released in 1988 and I remember renting it from a local video store in the early 90’s and I remember distinctly being blown away by the entire film. I will say that I didn’t exactly understand the movie when I first saw it but since then I have seen it several more times and now understand the storyline and appreciate the whole movie just a lot more than I did in the first place.

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