Archive for April, 2016

Stories: The Path of Destinies or What’s That?

Posted in Hands On, The Latest with tags , on April 19, 2016 by Rabidgames

There is a strange trend happening in the PSN Store lately – without much PR or most gamers noticing, lots of different and interesting games are being published; from the simulation space faring of Rebel Galaxy, the Viking themed RPG The Banner Saga to the intriguing Layers of Fear, PSN offers considerably more than just AAA games and pixelated shovelware – but it becomes harder and harder to notice these hidden gems buried under piles of rogue-likes and twin shooters.

One of these well-hidden gems is this week’s barely noticed release of Stories: The Path of Destinies, an action RPG with a narrative twist – finishing the story about a pirate fox fighting an evil toad emperor while trying to rescue his love, a kitty he went to sword fu school with who happens to be the daughter of the villain, only takes one hour or so, but there are more than 20 different ends to the narrative, including 4 truths (big twists to the story) that stretch the game to easily more than 10 hours.

While you will need to replay parts of Stories: The Path of Destinies quite a few times, it still stays fresh because there are new paths to discover thanks to previously locked paths, and going through levels with different experiences and the quite often sarcastic narrator commenting on new insights never gets old.

Furthermore, gaining new moves always add to the fun in the hack ‘n slay style battles. Plus you can switch between 4 different upgradeable swords in Stories: The Path of Destinies, and you can get additional bonuses by implementing gems into your gauntlet. Experimenting new ways to slaughter keeps you motivated easily.

Rabidgames can’t stop playing: Oh yes, Stories: The Path of Destinies is a fine game for a discount price of 9 pounds, and it also feels a bit different from the rest of games you can usually buy for that price. But why Sony seems more proud of all the shitty 2D pixel galore, remains a mystery. Why not focus on gems instead?

 

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Zombi or Way too Late

Posted in Hands On with tags , on April 16, 2016 by Rabidgames

Thanks to PSN+, Zombi can now be enjoyed by many for a small sum – it is NOT for free, mind you, but honestly, everything but yet another fucking 2D rogue-like platformer feels like a gift from the gaming heavens – although “enjoying” is pretty relative when it comes to this title.

How comes? Well, remember the clunkiness of Dead Island? Zombi is worse, plus fighting (which was fun in Dead Island, remember cutting of limb after limb?) is boring. Technically, Zombi is looking even more rotting and undead than the first Dead Island, and it is plagued by as many issues. Fortunately, the gimmicky WiiU tablet controls were thrown out of the window.

Oh, and what kind of fucking stupid name is Zombi? ZombiU was rather dyslexic in the first place, and Zombi is even worse! But it kinda shows what’s up with it, as much thought hasn’t gone into neither the title or the game itself …

And the gameplay? Clunky, unresponsive and slow. Shame. The idea of Zombi is pretty good, fair enough, the atmosphere is thick as proper London fog at times, and there are some decent moments where you manage to rescue yourself at the very last second.

But then, there’s the technical overload – you have a Zombi radar, a scanner to scan your surroundings (although waling to a corpse and checking if it has an item is quicker than scanning the body), and it somehow doesn’t suit the survival aspect. What’s more, Zombi’s fighting system is bland as hell, levelling up weapons seems pointless, and missions that involve you killing dozens of zombies are a chore, not a source of joy – come on, we all know nothing beats slicing up zombies with a baseball bat machete razor blade in Dead Island or drop-kicking zombies from roofs in Dying Light. Hell, even the comic-like slaughtering in Dead Rising is way more fun!

But Zombi? Hitting dozens of zombies with the same cricket bat animation is flat out boring, the weird and imprecise hotboxes are not helping, and shooting feels a bit better but yet below any kind of gameplay norm. And the forced moments of “run for your life” as well as the narrow level design don’t help either …

 Rabidgames sighs: Great potential, wasted away. While Zombi might have been one of perhaps three “mature games” on the WiiU and therefore there might perhaps be a reason to exist for it in the Nintendo Sphere, it is merely a nerdy village idiot relative of the average Zombie Joe on the PS4.