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Posts tagged “video game review

Serial Cleaner – Video Game Review

Cast your mind back to last year, when I reviewed a game called Party Hard that had nothing to do with the Andrew WK song of the same name. As you may remember, Party Hard is the game where you play a serial killer and are tasked with taking out as many of the partying people as you could, so you can get some sleep. Did you ever wonder who might come and clean up after you? If you set Party Hard in the seventies and toned down the violence a bit, then Serial Cleaner would be the game to compliment Party Hard.

Specifications

  • Developed by: iFun4All
  • Publisher: Curve Digital
  • Platforms: Windows, Steam, PS4, XBox One, Mac
  • Release Date: 19th June 2017
  • Rated: Steam: 71 (Very Positive) & Metacritic (PC) 68%, user score 7.5
  • RRP: £11.99

Design

The game has a very unique style and takes full advantage of being set in the 1970’s, where almost every male person in the game has a fine full moustache and sporting some Ray-Ban Aviator shades. Your main character, a Mr Bob Leaner, lives with his mother and makes his living by cleaning up crime scenes. In between missions, there are storyline moments that relate to history. I really like the design line the developers have taken, everything feels right at home.

The colours are really something to behold, the art style is similar to papercraft, almost cell shaded in a way. I’ve not seen that many games that follow a similar art style and for that, I give the game a lot of credit. The design of the levels themselves had a lot of love poured into them. They start fairly simple, giving you a nice introduction to the controls and concept without holding your hand at every turn, as well as having a nice challenge curve.

There are several obvious design decisions made during development and they all feel like they add to the gameplay. Players are punished for taking risks and being caught, given that there are no halfway checkpoints being caught means everything resets. Yes, this causes many moments where you may find your patience being tested and it’s probably because you just were not good enough on that occasion. The great thing about getting caught is that restarting the level is instantaneous. Having a significant reload time for a game like this might be the tipping point that makes me stop playing. Being made to wait several seconds or minutes to have another go of the same level is not acceptable in a game like this, so I am glad they made it instantaneous.

Gameplay

You control Bob, using the cursor keys to guide him. Your task for each mission is to not get caught trying to mess with the scene of a crime. You do this by using your “Cleaner sense”, which gives you the ability to see the whole map, where all the hiding spots, bodies and bits of evidence are. The second tool in your bag of tricks is the ability to hide in things and activate various bits of scenery to help lose/confuse/distract the cops from finding you before you complete your mission.

When you get to a body you pick it up and then hot foot it to the nearest body drop point, which could be your reliable Station Wagon or maybe even feeding it to a Crocodile. Finally, you have a vacuum to suck up some of the blood, which is a requirement on some of the levels. The levels are really well designed; police seem to always be in the same spot while the bodies and evidence seem to rotate around a bunch of predesignated spots with every try. If a police officer spots you then you need to find the nearest hiding spot and wait for them to give up looking for you, before you continue with the job in hand.

Verdict

If you are looking to 100% complete this game, it’s going to take you a while. There are costumes to be found so you can put Bob Leaner in a Saturday Night fever style suit, or stockings and suspenders to name a few. There are also a lot of challenges for each level so you can replay them to make them more difficult. The game also includes 10 film specific scenarios to work your way through as extra content, so there is plenty to keep you occupied. For a little over £5 more than the RRP, you can optionally grab the music as DLC. I must say that it encompasses the era the game is set in perfectly, with some big hair, shoulder-pad style schlock rock, to funk and disco.

I have a few criticisms.

Even though I think the art style is nice, it is at points difficult to understand where you can and cannot run. I got caught more than once by thinking that I could escape the cops through a certain route and come to a dead end. I also think that you could add a hell of a lot of replay value if there was a level designer. You could happily hook it up to Steam Workshop to share levels between your friends, or the public. There have been a few times where I have managed to glitch through the scenery and actually appear on the other side of an external wall with no other choice but to restart, but in fairness, there have been few and far between.

A lot of other reviewers have picked up on the fact that there is no multi-player but I don’t think that a multi-player version of the game would work. I like the game as is, I’ve not managed to finish it as yet but I have seen enough to be able to say it’s a game I have enjoyed being frustrated by and having that feeling of elation when you get a level right and manage to move onto the next one. It’s certainly worth the money in my opinion.

Have you played Serial Cleaner? What do you think of this wave of games that implement very simple rules with a definitive art style like Hotline Miami, Enter the Gungeon etc? Give us your feedback via the comments section or over on Facebook, Reddit or Twitter


Video Game Reivew – Alice: Madness Returns

“You’re back in Wonderland, Alice.” – But this time, things aren’t the same. Things have gone quite mad. You could say that all of the time Alice has been stuck in an orphanage, has only made her more derranged, or at least more cynical. Now we must return to Wonderland, where a train has been seen destroying the imaginative world. Why has this train taken off? What has happened to the laws of Wonderland and more importantly, can we see that amazing Vorpal Dagger once again?

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Video Game Review: Aura Kingdom

Free to play MMORPG, with a serious case of anime, yes it can only be Aura Kingdom. Or, as I like to call it, Anime: the Video Game. But enough joking about what this game is about, let’s look at the positives and the negatives of Aura Kingdom, a game I found in Steam’s many, many free to play titles. But just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s free from scrutiny, nor is it something to pass up. Let’s get our inner anime on! Believe it! Plus Ultra! Believe in the heart of the cards! Uhh… DRAGON BALL Z! Okay, I’ve said enough anime things now.

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Video Game Review: Rocking Pilot (Free Giveaway!)

Think you’re good enough to be a Rocking Pilot? This game seems to think so, as you take charge in your single attack helicopter against an army, or two. Thousands will fight you, as you aim to take them and all of the evil oppessors down. It’s bullethell madness and a throwback shooter with a modern twist – So join us as we take a look at this cartoony and colourful brand new game on Steam and at the end of the article, you can be in with a chance of winning one of our two copies of the game!

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Video Game Review: Laser Disco Defenders

Lasers, Discos and Defenders are all rolled into one neat little package, with this amazing new indie title by Out Of Bounds Games. We’ve had some prior knowledge of this game for some time, but it’s been out for a little while now and it’s time to talk about it. The developer, Alexander Birke, has actually been attending GeekOut South-West meetups for over two years now. He also kindly offered some free copies of LDD for some of our members at yesterdays meetup. Amazing stuff – but what is it all about?

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Video Game Review: Pokemon Sun & Moon

 

A formulaic franchise on the cusp of a major breaking point, Pokemon Sun & Moon feels like not only another Pokemon game, but it feels like an evolution of the series. A natural change, an interesting progression from the time old tradition of beating a bunch of gyms then the Elite Four of the continent you’re in. But, just how good is Pokemon Sun & Moon and should you make sure to have a copy any time soon? As always, we’re here to check out the good and the bad of a title, so grab your Poke Balls, turn that trainer hat around and let’s go catching some Pokemon!

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Video Game Review – Toki Tori

Toki Tori is the last in this three-part trilogy of video games released by Two Tribes; Did we leave the best to last, or is Toki Tori not all that? For a game that was originally released back in 2001, has this game managed to stick through the ages, or is it all tweet and no treat? Join Timlah as we look through the last major game we’re looking at for the closing games studio, before their new game RIVE, which comes out later this year.

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Video Game Review: RUSH

Yesterday we discussed our Top 10 Balls. As great as balls are, we’re going to go back and talk about boxes now as todays review is on RUSH, a sweet little puzzler game which sees you guiding some boxes (well, cubes) around the place. How does this game… Stack up? Join Timlah as we RUSH through this puzzling world.

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Video Game Review: DragonBall Xenoverse

Kamehameha! Every anime and manga’s favourite martial art series which went from simple roots of an exaggerated combat style, with more energy beams than any sci-fi movie in history, to the big screen… Of your computers that is! Timlah has finally gotten his hands on DragonBall Xenoverse and has spent some time getting to know it with his brand new Sayian hero. Will Timlah be able to stop the evil bad guys of the game? Are you reading this in the narrators voice? Find out now in GeekOut’s review!

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Video Game Preview – Three Days

Are you a fan of SCP games? Then look no further than Three Days, a survival horror game by Lewis Bergin and Eloise of GorePixelGames. Join Timlah as we check out this upcoming Steam title which is already available for Early Access.

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