Rhythm-based games are a rarity, typically only cropping up on arcade machines in movie theaters and the typical fare from Bemani. While there was a brief resurgence of the genre …
Once upon a time in his own little world far, far away, a man by the name of Michael C. was asked by his girlfriend to play Minecraft. What did the great hero reply?
Project Root was developed by OPQAM and published by Reverb Publishing on Xbox One. It will release on April 28, 2015 for $9.99. A copy was provided by Reverb Publishing for review purposes.
Shoot-em-ups are one of my favorite pastimes. There is an odd sense of satisfaction from seeing bullets fly by your ship (or equal equivalent) while shooting your own back and trying to survive. Failure occurs often, there is a thrill in seeing how long you’ll last before dying. In the old days, you’d coin feed an arcade machine until you (eventually) beat it. Nowadays, most shmups have reached niche status and rarely see support in the retail market. For every Deathsmiles or Akai Katana that sees a localization, there is another title like Eschatos and Ginga Force that fans hope lucks out with a region-free Japanese release. Occasionally, we saw XBLA shmup releases such as Triggerheart Exelica and Guwange, which are compact experiences. Project Root is one of the first shmups to reach the Xbox One and try something different: free roaming. As a fan of the genre and sub-genres like bullet hells, I was excited to try it.
Project Root can be fun. It really can be. However, the amount of time and effort to create that opportunity far exceeds the benefit. The game relies heavily on the player upgrading their ship to succeed, yet the experience system to level up for upgrades is atrocious. A majority of your experience will come from a first-time level completion bonus. If you can’t beat a level, you’re in for a miserable time. As is typical for progression systems, the other way to gain XP is to gradually fill the experience bar by killing enemies. The rate of gain, however, is slow, especially on the first few levels where you need it most. It takes one to two hours to level up once via killing enemies, and all of that effort is for a modicum of XP; it may not even be enough for the upgrade you’re pining for. Tack on having zero checkpoints and it becomes a frustrating sortie of trial and error. Adding salt to the wound, upgrades and progress do not carry over to other difficulties, so all of your hard work doesn’t matter if you want to try something harder or cruise through something easier. Outside of free roam, Project Root does nothing new or exciting to add to the genre. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone outside of the absolute diehard shmup fans that must have every shmup game.
Thanks to our friends at Kalypso Media and Reverb Publishing, we have another great console prize package to give away. As listed above, we are giving out the custom 250 GB Alien Spidy Xbox 360 and more! We were very excited to get a hold of this prize package, but we’re not keeping it for ourselves. One lucky site reader will be gaming on this console very soon! All you need to do to enter this contest is answer the following question in the comment section below:
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing touts everything you’ve come to know and expect from an action-RPG. It’s loaded with skills and spells, collectible weapons and armor, quests and discoveries. Sure, it’s reminiscent of those that have come before but, Van Helsing is its own beast, steeped in rich lore with enough innovation to strike out on its own. But what’s so incredible about the adventures of Van Helsing?
“The atmosphere, I think it’s very special,” says Linda Bozoradi, one half of the public relations conduit for Neocore Games. The other is Orsolya Toth, and both have been leading us through the brooding introduction to Van Helsing.
“A steampunk universe in an action-RPG is not a common thing,” Toth states. She’s not wrong. The world of Van Helsing is a strange one. Stuck somewhere between the mystical ways of the old world and the mechanical wonders of modernization.
The cinematic prologue sets the stage as a winding red line curves across a parchment map of Europe. It snakes through Paris, Venice, around the southern tip of Greece and through Istanbul. Each location accompanied by brief descriptions and hand-drawn renditions of an encounter in the region: Gaston the Butcher, The Shadow Casino, the Crimean War Dragon and The Krakken. As the latest in the long line of monster-hunting Van Helsings, our protagonist narrates these adventures, revealing his current assignment in the form of a mysterious letter asking for his family’s famed assistance in the land of Borgovia.
Occasionally, XBLA Fans likes to take a backseat and allow members of the development community to speak openly and directly to our readers. After all, you came here to read about games, and who better to talk about them than the professionals who create them? With that in mind, please enjoy the following article written by Coffee Stain Studios Game Designer and PR Manager Armin Ibrisagic.
One thing that many of our players from Sanctum 1 requested on the Coffee Stain forums was more playable characters. Everyone loves Skye, of course, but many players felt that they wanted to be introduced to new and cool personalities from the Sanctum universe. That’s why Sanctum 2 now has four different playable character classes. Now these aren’t just different character models with different skins, they’re all actual character classes with their own unique strengths and specializations.