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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


Anime Review: Interviews With Monster Girls

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With a name like ‘Interviews With Monster Girls‘, you would be excused to think this is an ecchi. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘ecchi’, this is effectively the same way as saying ‘sexy’. As such, I clicked on this one thinking it was going to be yet another harem anime and that I’d turn it over and look for something different. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for this particular anime, although I’m sure there are enough people who would watch it purely for the fantasisation of lady monster nibbling at necks and losing their heads. No really, this is something that happens a fair bit in this anime. Let’s have a look and see what I really thought of it.

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Video Game Review: Paragon

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I’ve become pretty familiar with the MOBA genre within the past year. From Awesomenauts to Heroes of the Storm, it’s a genre that’s accessible to many people, yet quite intimidating for many others. If you’re not a fan of multiplayer games, this certainly won’t be a game for you – But if you don’t mind a bit of friendly competition (or co-operative fun), then this might be a game to look out for. Plus, it’s the only MOBA I know of that’s been developed in the Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). This makes it quite different in terms of visuals from other MOBAs and trust me: It’s truly fantastic to look at… Well, it is, after you get over the initial hiccup.

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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


Board Game Review: Rogues to Riches

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A game for the criminally imaginative, that’s the tagline. Whilst board games have enjoyed a massive resurgence in the 2000’s and beyond, so too have games where there are less typical boards involved. This month, we investigate a game that’s been on my “to play” list for quite some time – Rogues to Riches. This was a game I backed on Kickstarter quite some time ago and I received it late last year. We finally got around to playing it as a small group at this past GeekOut Bristol Meet and I will say it’s one of the most funny games I’ve picked up in quite some time. Read on for our full review!

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Review – Volo’s Guide to Monsters

It has been a couple of years since the release of the core set – Players Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide – and in between we’ve mostly seen the release of campaign books that have added their own flavour that a half-awake DM can implement to great effect in his/her own games.

Across the last two editions we’ve seen something of a template in terms of extra material, and the same with independent adaption Pathfinder; more monster manuals, more player options, flavour books that add new worlds or mixed materials that play to a theme, accompanied by campaign modules which are primarily focused on a playable adventure, rather than adding usable material for anyone to use. (more…)


Review – 2016

A lot of bad news this year, not just the deaths of beloved celebrities by the dozen, but one political farce after another made all the more painful by the rising availability of information, and the rampant spread of misinformation and the ever growing tirade of opinion drowning out fact.

But it hasn’t all been bad, and through the constant stream of bad news and doomsaying we’ve forgotten quite a few of the highlights. (more…)


Review – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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I am not a Star Wars fan.

I loved Rogue One!

The film is not without it’s flaws of course, and I must admit that the flaws in Rogue One are rather glaring, but set within one of the darkest and most gripping sci-fi adventures I have ever seen.

As part of this review I will be limiting most of my examples to the temple of Jedha. It’s early enough in the film to keep this nice and spoiler-free, and the scenes in Jedha are a perfect microcosm of Rogue One as a whole. (more…)


Warner Bros Studios Tour – Harry Potter

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Recently, as an early Christmas present, I was taken to the amazing Warner Bros Studios Tour which was all about The Making of Harry Potter. From the moment we walked in, all the way to retrieving our paperback guide at the end, it was a joyous event which I can only recommend to everyone who has ever enjoyed anything to do with the films. But, of course – We didn’t just go there. We took pictures to share with all of you!

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Westworld – The Park Reviewed

As I sit here, finishing up the very last of Westworld, I find myself with far too much to pick apart and discuss for a mere review, but I find myself wanting to review it from an unusual perspective.

The series is fantastic, well written, brilliantly performed, layers of philosophy woven with drama, all brought to a satisfying conclusion that ties loose ends neatly but leaves a whole new string to unravel. And yet above all, I’m left with a complaint that makes me strangely unsatisfied with the series as a whole.

Westworld is a bad game. (more…)