Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oozi Does It Earth Style

The first thing you will notice about AwesomeGamesStudio’s “Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep 1” is the great hand-drawn artwork. The levels and characters are colorful and stylized which makes this stand out as one of the better looking platformers on XBLIG. The comic book style cinematic approach goes well with the genre and brought me into the story quickly.

The gameplay is sweet platformer goodness, of which I am a fan. Oozi doesn’t have anything in the way of weapons. His only defenses are jumping on baddies heads and a stomp move that he can do in mid-air. But this is all you need to have some really great platformer gameplay. My favorite level is “Dude... Where’s My Spaceship” where the vines with spikes on them are introduced. Climbing around and jumping from vine to vine is great!

I had the most fun playing the Challenge levels that you unlock by completing Story mode levels. Challenge levels have specific goals and sub-goals (i.e. collect all the starts, defeat all baddies) and you have to do it in a specific time limit. I liked the pace that I had to keep to stay on top of the clock. And some of those stars are really hard to get to!
Apart from the fantastic name and the ear to ear grin of awesomeness (does he have ears?), Oozi as a character was a little annoying. The mouse-esque voiceovers get repetitive after only a couple of level retrys. Other than that the SFX and Music are really good. They create the vibe of the crazy foreign world on which Oozi finds himself(Earth); and do it in the proper style.

Physics in this game were really good. I felt like Oozi had just the right amount of hang time to have proper control over his jumps. I also really liked the camera programming for the game. When moving and stopping the camera softly moves to its “home” position and when looking up and down, the camera also compensates softly. This makes the whole game feel real smooth.

Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep 1 is on my list of must-haves. If you like platformers the $1 (80 Point) price tag should put this one securely in your collection.

Game Reviewed @ xblaratings.com | Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 1 Review

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Accidentally... All Day

I had a hard time tearing myself away from this game to write the review!
I Accidentally... In Space! Ep. 1 is fantastically fun and Lethal Martini put in a great sense of humor. The concept is super original, mashing together a platformer and a shooter a la Space Invaders.

In “I Accidentally...” you are a space miner out to collect all these gems that have been scattered around due to a mining “accident” and are now being guarded by the aliens who’ve found them first. The aliens hover around near the top of the play area and shoot at you in a familiar style. The twist is that you’re climbing through this level from platform to platform all the while trying to vanquish the waves of aliens and collect your precious gems. There are lots of great powerups to make your mining adventure a little easier, and they always come when you need them most! I thoroughly enjoy the gameplay in “I Accidentally...”

I was a little disappointed in the visuals of the game. The UI does nothing to stand out and most of it is just text on the screen. The backgrounds appear to be photographs which can at times make the screen a little to busy and cause the foreground to get lost. The gameplay tips that pop up in the middle of a level also get lost in the background and I missed what most of them said.
I did like the effects of the bullets and powerups. I also thought the death animation was hilarious!

Take advantage of the practice levels even if you have already beaten the level. Try out the more difficult settings. Some of them are really challenging.
Don’t be afraid of a tactical retreat! The impulse may be to keep climbing but there’s a wise proverb that says, “He who climbs fast, doesn’t climb long.” If it starts getting thick, drop down to a safer platform where you have more room to move and take out those aliens.

Buy this game! The graphical limitations are not enough to keep it from being an awesome fun game that you will lose hours to; And at 80 Points you can't pass it up!

Game Reviewed @ xblaratings.com | I Accidentally… In Space Ep 1 Review

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Explode This!

TriLinea ReAct from indie developer, Tendi, is a competitive puzzle game in which the players must line up tiles of matching colors to EXPLODE their neighbors’ tiles, use spells to switch their controls and reverse gravity, or compete against yourself in challenges of strategy and skill.

Right from the splash screen, I was impressed with the presentation of TriLinea ReAct. The menus are aesthetically pleasing and the music lets you know that you’re in for some fast paced competition! There are even little pop-ups that make suggestions for first-time players. I want more games on XBLIG to be of this quality.

I started by following the advice of the first pop-up and doing the Challenge Mode first. This mode is great for learning the different gameplay goals. As an experienced player you could use the Challenges to refine your strategy or sharpen your skill. When I moved to the Quick Play Mode, I found whole new layers of gameplay! You can duel with the CPU using all your skill and additional spells to change the rules of the game. Or you can compete in Missions that give you changing goals based on a time limit. The spells are a unique addition to a game in this genre that I thought was a nice touch. The missions are also quite fun because you have to change up your play-style so often depending on which mission goal is up.

The Multiplayer mode caused me to lose hours to this game. The competitive gameplay is addictive and well balanced. My favorite moves were reversing the gravity and trying to catch my opponent waiting for me to drop a color so that I could wait, and it would cause this lull in tiles being placed that would really throw off their timing.

The environments for the levels are done really well. Everyone in the office had to stop and look and the level designs when they saw me playing it. They appear to be fully 3D levels with consistent themes and music to keep the pace going. The programming also felt solid, even for the board wipes when the Pumpkin eats all the tiles or when the Pharaoh uses his bony arm to swipe them away.

I tried hard to find something critical to say about the game itself and came up short. If I had to find one thing it would be the 400 Microsoft Point($5) price tag. While the game is well worth it, it could deter more people from realizing that TriLinea ReAct is a great game.

Game Reviewed @ xblaratings.com | TriLinea ReAct Review

A Little Blog Restructuring

I’ll be starting by posting my newest game reviews from http://www.xblaratings.com/