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Wine. No controller supporter. Sound issues on Ubuntu. Linux users stay away from this crap.
This is one of the best VN hybrids you can play, if not the best (though that would be ex-aequo with Long Live The Queen). Still, it has a few quirks.
* It's looooooong. If you're into story-driven, "filled to the brim with dialogue" games, be they RPG or visual novels, no need to read any further: buy it.
* The story's great. As cliché as they come at times, but it works wonders.
* The characters are great, and as far as I'm concerned, memorable. The writer has put great care and effort here, and it shows. Absolutely lovely.
* The combats are interesting and enjoyable. Not overly long, with mild strategic options, it's simply a pleasure; and the fact you can skip random encounters makes it even better if you're not in the mood.
* The music's fine. Maybe not as memorable as the writing or the art, but it's fitting, doesn't get in the way and gets the job done.
* The art is gorgeous. Take any screenshot here. 'nuff said.
* Man, Ren'py CLEARLY isn't tailored for this. So there's some sound stuttering every now and then - in particular during combat. Nothing particularly ugly but it's still unfortunate.
* The game is easy. Like, REALLY easy, even in hard/tactics mode. The addition of an Extreme mode would be most welcome, seriously.
* There are still a few typos and mistakes here and there; but given the amount of text in the game, it's easily forgivable.
* Equipment management in stores and for comparisons feels like a chore, and while the dual-wielding ability of some characters makes things quite interesting, it adds to the confusion.
* It may be long, but it's still too short. Loren 2, please. NOW. :)
Anyway. Beware that some of the art could be considered suggestive, even from the get-go (just look at the pictures). While this isn't exactly a hentai game, it may put some people off, which would be a pity, as you have the choice to show or hide the (even more) suggestive things.
Instant classic, plain and simple.
It's your average tower defense at its core, but it does everything just as it should be: unit looks can be customized, both for you and the enemy, with different colours and additions. Heck, even the terrain may be customized. Maybe a full-fledged colour picker would be even better, but that's just me nitpicking.
You can get in the game within seconds. No fuss, no cumbersome additional stuff. Pick a game mode, a map, and off you go.
There's sufficient variety in units, and Cubemen has the immense advantage of fixing the main shortcoming from most TD games: maps.
Level editor, insane number of maps available. Plus multiplayer. Says it all, doesn't it. Furhtermore, base positions can be randomized, so you basically get several maps in one.
Units are also mobile, which isnt all that common and allows you to dodge incoming attacks, reorganize your defense or go fetch a bonus or another.
If what you're looking for is a TD map that will actually keep you occupied and not bother you with useless bulldung, Cubemen it is.
A natural evolution of Digital: A Love Story, Analogue confirms Christine Love's pure talent in storytelling and amazing backgrounds, further highlighted by beautiful art and music.
Everything Digital does, Analogue does better, with one notable and unfortunate exception: the AI-human relation. While the relation between the player and *Emilia was the main strength of Digital, their relations with *Mute and *Hyun-Ae are probably the weakest link here.
The well-researched background, the overall sadness in both their digital lives may be moving, but it's hard to care for them the way you did with *Emilia. Perhaps because there is no chase apart from that of further message blocks. Perhaps because there is less interaction with them. Perhaps because Digital was you walking in the shoes of someone else, trying to guess what they said and why. Perhaps because *Hyun-Ae is too human and *Mute not enough. Hard to say.
On the other hand, Love's aren't exactly otome games, so it's hard to complain. It's just a pity that everything saw so many improvements and this particular field saw a regression.
Anyway. Gamer or not, otome or not, no one in their right mind should pass up on the chance to try at least Digital: A Love Story. And if you liked it, then you REALLY should buy Analogue.
The latter is brutal, cynical, filled with sadness, reflections on morality, society, transhumanism and love, and the short format means it gives you no time to digest.
It's a kick in the stomach that only lets you recover after everything is said and done, when you have the opportunity to read all the logs again, free from the shackles of the story mode. Until then, you can only sit on the edge of your seat, sucked into the stories and shaking your head in anticipation of what you know is to come, and against which you can do nothing.
Truly, a masterpiece in its own right. I'll be eagerly waiting for whatever comes next from Christine Love.
Review based on the latest beta as of 26th of September. :P
I'll usually rate games quite high - I won't buy something I don't support wholeheartedly. NEO Scavenger is something of an exception.
It has a lot of potential, some bugs (no showstopper - so far so good), a fugly interface, and tons of hate (or love, if you like them brutal) to give.
At this time, though, NEO Scavenger has a few things to put you off. Inconsistent art, mixing pixel art with classical drawings. A cumbersome interface. Tutorials that you cannot deactivate permanently (one may argue that it's 1 screen at a time, and concentrated at the beginning of the game, but still slightly annoying). Lack of variety in sound effects, no music. Drawn-out combat. No proper documentation, though it shouldn't be too much of a problem if you take the time to go to the developer's site. Inventory management can turn into a chore. That's for the bad news (briefly and roughly).
Now for the good news. While combat can become overly long and difficult, it's also very interesting and varied, if lacking in the "enemy types" department. There are many moves available depending on the setup, all with their pros & cons, and the log can be interesting to read if you care (hint: you should).
The game also has a truckload of characteristics to define your character, both good and bad, adding a lot of replay value, as if the random world wasn't enough.
The crafting system is the most elegant I've seen in a while, discarding the stupidity of Minecraft while still allowing you to try and be creative with your items AND SKILLS (and that, dear dev, is simply awesome). Plus you can learn recipes in game.
The risk vs. reward system of scavenging is also well thought out. The medication and survival aspects, which will hopefully grow even further, are instinctive and devious (PURIFY YOUR WATER, DAMMIT).
And there's much more to say, gimme more space, Desura.
tl;dr - like survival? MUST BUY. Probably a 10 by release
TJD is a proud member of the new wave of adventure games: short, easy to figure out as well as on the eyes, with a lot of charm.
Sure it's short, but it shouldn't stop you from giving it a try, even if adventure games aren't your cup of tea. Simply because one of its main strengths is just that: its difficulty is on the very low end of the spectrum.
It's the kind of game you can play for half an hour, and close with the assurance to have made some progress. Nothing is illogical, or hard to figure out. The only problem you may be confronted with is having to do a bit of backtracking. Which isn't that bad since it all happens in a relatively small area.
McPixel is Sam&Max on steroids.
Monkey Island on cocaine.
King's Quest on peyotl.
Where's Waldo on speed.
It's fast, furious, insane, ridiculous, hilarious, over-the-top, explosive, beautiful, inventive, original.
McPixel is point-and-click. Superlative point-and-click. Playable in small bites, highly brain-damaging in big chunks.
Sos Sosowski at his best. There's no word for this stuff. Play it, that's all.
Rijn the Specpyre feels a bit like a mashup between Zelda and Castlevania. Sold? Sold.
On a more serious note... Quick breakdown of the game
Gameplay: usual top-down ARPG view and gameplay, save points, all the classic goodness. Some weird collisions here and there (the first boss for example), but it feels about fine. Minor gripe: hotkeys 1-4 are fiddly as usual (AZERTY keyboard).
Music: pretty good, sets the mood in a fit fashion.
Looks: just what you see in the screenshots. A bit square, but nothing off-putting.
Story: Can't begin to tell how good the writing is. The only one minor problem is, in fact, the title of the game. That says a lot. Apart from that, reading the game books is a pleasure in and of itself. Well worth the price for them alone.
10, until the 1-bombers gtfo.
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