enfrdeitptrues

Shooting

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    Redeemer
    Developer: Sobaka Studio
    Published by: Gambitious Digital Entertainment
    Release Date: August 1, 2017
    Available on: Windows
    Genre: Top-Down Action
    Players: 1
    ESRB Rating: unrated
    Price: $14.99
    (Humble Store Link)

    Thank you Sobaka Studios for the review code.

    Have you ever been to a restaurant that looks ugly but has a great meal? That can apply to video games in a way as well. When a game tries to sell itself on sexy ladies, a dark edgy story, or brutal violence alone you might assume it's not going to be that good. Yet when you dive in, it might keep you pleasantly surprised depending on your tastes. Today's game, Redeemer, is a brutal top down combat game that sells itself on violent old school combat. A lot of its descriptions on the store page are very overexaggerated including calling its kill system and disarm system unique. Let's see if this game may have a bad presentation but a great taste.

    In Redeemer you play as the soldier for hire turned monk, Vasily. He was once one of their best assassins, yet when they tried to force cybernetic enhancements on their soldiers, he escaped to a remote Buddhist temple to try and find peace. This peace is short-lived when the same company invades his new home, seeking a secret even Vasily didn't know about. His life is once again in ruins and he must now destroy these invasive soldiers by any means necessary to put a stop to their true intentions.

    Redeemer
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: It is a well built game in the combat aspect, if you're looking for simple combat with a brutal feel you will get it in this game.
    Weak Points: This game is average on the most bare bone terms. Its combat is repetitive, the sound, music and graphics are just there. Aside from progressing the story, you have nothing else to work toward except harder difficulties. Nothings bad, just average and forgettable.
    Moral Warnings: The game is extremely violent even for a top down game. They at least captured the one man army trope well!

    The combat is basic - think Diablo 3 without skills or passives. You control Vasily from a top-down perspective, exploring areas and slaying every enemy in your way. You have a punch and a kick with the left and right mouse buttons. You have the ability to disarm opponents of weapons, and environmental hazards can be used for instant kills. You can use any gun or melee weapon available to you from around the level or from a slain enemy. You also have a parry and block button. Stealth kills are an option if you so wish but most people won't want to do that. The game is definitly most rewarding when it comes to its brutal in your face combat.

    For those that seek a violent rush, you'll get it but don't expect this game to be the next Postal or Doom. That is why it was strange to me that they called their combat system unique on the store page. We've had plenty of games with environmental kills, disarming opponents, stealth kills and all of what they offer. It doesn't mean it's bad or that they are copying a more successful game. I've played many platformers, shooters, and RPGs. This doesn't mean all other games of these genres are copying Mario, Call Of Duty and Final Fantasy. Yet if there's a better version of the same experience, I am going to go with the better version.

    The story, graphics, and sound don't help much in the experience either. I understand why a lot of people say they aren't in it for the story. I respect that, but it doesn't mean that I am just going to ignore that part of the game. It's like something from an '80s action movie: a character with a dark past tries to hide from it only for it to catch up with him. You can tie dark and brutal stories to your gameplay to enhance the experience; it shouldn't be a throw away element to your design. The voice acting is corny and cheap, but the actors did the jobs asked of them so I can't fault them for it. The music and sound effects are basic loops and stock soundtracks that are just kind of there. They don't help nor hinder the experience. You won't have much time to enjoy the stages with all the fast combat, yet when I did slow down it was mostly walls and random temple set pieces from a top down view. Nothing was ugly, yet nothing was unique or memorable either.

    Redeemer
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 72%
    Gameplay - 13/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 4/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 68%
    Violence - 2/10
    Language - 5/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7/10

    Personally I am glad the game didn't have random skill trees or abilities and kept the combat pure, yet this comes with a negative as well. When you don't have anything for the player to progress towards besides a silly story, repetitive and linear combat will get boring much more quickly. Even popular linear games always have something for a player to grind towards.

    For certain users, myself included, there's random frame drops at certain levels. Though I haven't experienced anything debilitating as of yet there are some who say that the frame drops affect gameplay to unplayable levels. Most likely this will vary PC to PC.

    Redeemer is definitely a game to file as 17 and up. Vasily is gory, rough, and violent as is expected of any one man army character trope. Only thing it doesn't really have is any sexual moments or particularly rough language. Vasily mostly talks about all the murder he's going to commit since his old company killed his fellow monks like dogs.

    Redeemer is neither bad or great food; It's the fast food version of your favorite meal. You didn't have the time to cook your favorite today nor the desire to go get it at a sit down restaurant, so you just went through the drive-thru to pick it up. Sure you could have had better quality food but it's not bad; it filled you up and you may even pick up the fast food that is Redeemer for a few bites every now and then.

  •  

    boxart
    Game Info:

    RocketsRocketsRockets
    Developed By: Radial Games
    Published By: Radial Games
    Released: November 15, 2018
    Available On: Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
    Genre: Action game, sports, shooter
    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone.
    Number of Players: 1 to 4
    Price: 4.99 to 9.99 for a Deluxe Edition which includes a soundtrack and exclusive bonuses

    First of all, thanks to Radial Games for the code to review this fine game!

    RocketsRocketsRockets is a basic 2-D shooter game developed by Radial Games. The object of the game is to fly rockets at other rockets and emerge as the winner. You can either play alone against the computer(the resident AI Stanley) or with up to 3 other players. You can choose from a variety of options of gameplay. Rockets is easy enough to figure out, but it is kind enough to include a tutorial on the start screen. Depending on which version you are playing, one button controls the missiles, one the mines, one for the shield and one for the bombs, and you use the control pad to fly the rocket.

    When playing, you take the rocket against a team. You are allowed to choose which background you want to use. For beginners, you can use 'Close Quarters' which is described as 'just you and your skill.' Asteroid Field is a bit more difficult and has asteroids flying around which you must dodge. Tower is a mode in which you must beware of falling objects that would impede your progress. Battle field is, in my opinion, the hardest as you must constantly dodge objects and lasers being shot at you.

    RocketsRocketsRockets
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Colorful graphics, fun to play, great music
    Weak Points: Not a lot of story-line and gets boring quickly
    Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence (minimal)

    There are 2 modes you can play in Rockets —the first is Zen, which is by yourself and is basically just a cut down version of the main mode. It gets old quickly. The Tournament version is more fun, especially with more than 2 players. As someone who didn't have anyone to play with, both modes got boring.

    On a positive note, the soundtrack and sound effects are really awesome. I could easily see myself downloading the soundtrack to my phone for working out as it is very upbeat and continues to draw you in and adds to the charm. The sound effects are appropriate for a game set in space-- a lot of
    alien- like sounds and sound effects and the appropriate sound when you are hit by another rocket, such as clunking, or lasers go off.

    RocketsRocketsRockets
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 88%
    Gameplay - 15/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 10/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 4/5

    Morality Score - 98%
    Violence - 9/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    As for the morality score, there isn't really a lot to complain about here. If you are concerned about nudity, language, or occult/supernatural, there is none of it in this game. NONE. The only thing I guess that I could complain about is that there is cartoon violence, such as your rocket shaking when you get hit by another person, but even that is being too picky. Really, this game is totally harmless.

    All in all, this is a good game and it's certainly worth shelling out 5 dollars for. If you really want the deluxe edition, 10 dollars isn't too much to sacrifice either. However, as someone who prefers more adventure and RPG games, this wasn't my cup of tea. But that's really just my opinion. If you are into shooters and like multi-players, this one's a winner! Bonus points for the awesome soundtrack!

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    ROM: Extraction
    Developed By: First Contact Entertainment
    Publisher: First Contact Entertainment
    Release Date: December 7, 2016
    Available On: Windows (HTC Vive or Oculus & Touch required)
    Genre: Action/Wave shooter
    Number of Players: 1
    ESRB Rating: N/A
    MSRP: $19.99

    Thank you First Contact Entertainment for sending us this game to review!

    The early VR games market is, in many ways, at a point in time where developers are doing their best to figure out what is fun within the limitations of current VR, and one of the early discoveries is that wave shooters are fun.

    What is a wave shooter?  Well, usually you have a weapon or two, and waves upon waves of enemies come by, and it's your job to eliminate them.  Some have weapon variety, enemy variety, or (rarely) level variety, but they all have you shooting at various still or moving targets.  Gunplay is very well suited to the Vive's controller, so it's not totally surprising that this would happen.

    ROM: Extraction is, despite marketing material saying otherwise, a simple variation on the wave shooter.  However, rather than endless waves of enemies that only stop when you are killed, each level has a time limit, during which you have to take out as many alien invaders as possible, while surviving in time for your extraction.  Based on your success and difficulty level, you tally up a score, which is submitted to online leaderboards, so you can see how well you do compared to everyone else.  It's a classic system that works well.

    ROM: Extraction
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Good graphics and polish; interesting slow down mechanic and power-ups
    Weak Points: Very little content; all dark scenes makes it seem blurrier than it should be; marketing tries to avoid calling it a wave shooter as much as possible despite it basically being one
    Moral Warnings: Animated violence against invading robotic aliens

    A typical game session starts with alarms going off, and a communication from your rescuers saying to hang in there while they prepare for extraction.  They also alert you when there are fresh baddies incoming.  Then starts up the dubstep music, and if you want to win, you start your counterattacks.  In addition to the typical 'shoot at everything' gameplay, there is your off hand where you get to throw all kinds of fancy grenades, and they explode if you shoot them.  If needed, you can slow down your environment, which makes those grenade shots much easier.

    Your laser pistol is frankly really weak.  It takes close to ten shots to take down an enemy, and your trigger finger gets tired pretty fast.  If you mostly rely on it, you will likely get very frustrated with this game, as I was at first also. You will not succeed if you do not learn to throw those grenades well.  

    Your off hand throws a default grenade that explodes on impact or when shot.  If you time it right (slow motion helps a lot, but is not required), it can take out multiple enemies at once, which is good fun.  Sometimes enemies drop grenade upgrades, which only last one use, but are often much more powerful.  These include things like bouncy grenades, chain attacks, and more.  Thankfully, healing is also something that can be dropped.  

    ROM: Extraction
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 84%
    Gameplay - 15/20
    Graphics - 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 4/5

    Morality Score - 98%
    Violence - 9/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    I have a few complaints that I have to air, though.  One is fairly basic: grenade throwing doesn't feel right.  When I lob, it doesn't go where I think it should.  I am not the only person to say this based on a YouTube video I saw, but you do get used to it.  I think the gravity and angle of throwing is off a bit or something (gravity makes sense since you are on a space station).  The gun is so weak that it's almost useless.  You have to pump that trigger a bunch of times to do any real damage to anything.  It's also hard to tell what the damage status of the enemies or yourself is in the heat of battle.  Maybe I just missed the health meter, but the screen does turn red as you get low on health.

    And of course, there is the obvious issue: the massive lack of content.  I do know that the developers have promised several free expansions/DLCs, so this issue may resolve itself, but on release (not early access), there was only a singular level to play, for approximately three minutes.  That's it.  The first time I went to play this to review it I though I must have missed something, so I went back some time later. No... there really was nothing else.  If this game was $3 like BladeShield, then that would be just fine.  But at the launch prices, it was too much.  Thankfully, they seem to be keeping their promise, as the first expansion pack was just released.  Honestly, this second level is much more enjoyable than the first, and if it's a sign of more good things to come, will be something to look forward to.  I certainly hope that the developers keep their promise to continue to provide additional free content well into the future.  To be fair, not only did they release the first content pack, they are also staying in touch with the community via the Steam discussion forums.

    The graphics are very good, but I thought that the dark color palette doesn't play to the VR headset's strengths.  It makes the game appear blurrier than it is because clarity is sacrificed when there is low contrast.  This is more of a fault with the Vive (which tends to have better colors than the Rift as it is) than anything else; I expect that future headsets will resolve this issue quite well.  For reference, I ran this game on mostly maximum settings (except for supersampling) on my i7 laptop with a Nvidia 1070.

    ROM: Extraction is the beginning of a potentially very good VR game.  Its 'throw and slow' mechanic can be fun and interesting.  Morally, there is nothing other than animated alien violence to worry about.  If you enjoy competitive leaderboards, and are looking for something to share with friends in short bursts, this can be a perfect candidate.  I hope that the content continues to grow, or the price is adjusted to make this game a great value.  If it does, it will be easy to recommend.

     

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    Shoot Mania VR Fun Zombies
    Developed by: Funny Twins
    Published by: Funny Twins
    Release date: February 17, 2017
    Available on: Windows (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift)
    Genre: Shooter
    Number of players: Single-player
    ESRB Rating:
    Price: $7.77

    Thank you Funny Twins for sending us this game to review!

    Shooting games are great for virtual reality. Just like other gaming platforms, VR has its fair share of zombie games and Shoot Mania VR Fun Zombies has you blasting away at zombies that are after your pumpkins, grills, or brain. There are three game modes (defense, wave, survival) and difficulty levels (easy, medium, hard) to choose from. In all honesty, I didn't see much difference between the wave and defense modes since both of them felt like 3D wave shooters.

    When you first start the game you’ll be armed with a pistol that holds eight rounds at a time. Reloading takes precious time, which can be a big deal if you don't ration ammunition properly, since the zombies don't stop and wait for you. Better guns like shotguns, rifles, AK-47s, and chain guns are unlockable from 1,000-20,000 credits. There are even options to duel wield them if you have enough credits to spare.

    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Inexpensive and fun VR game
    Weak Points: Inaccurate aiming/controls; only two levels; you can buy the guns via micro-transactions if you don’t want to earn them
    Moral Warnings: You’re shooting zombies and their blood is green; when a zombie destroys something that you’re supposed to be protecting, they may flip you off as a taunt

    Credits are only earned when you win a game. There’s no such thing as partial credit here. Points and credits are awarded for each zombie killed and other factors like the level and difficulty are taken into consideration as well. There are two levels to choose from and the city one is easier since cars driving by occasionally run over zombies that are in their way. The farm level is a little more challenging since you’re on your own. Both levels have birds flying overhead that you can get points for shooting down if you have time or ammo to spare.

    Unlocking guns will take a while since you’ll earn about fifty credits a game on easy mode. If you’re in a hurry, you can unlock the guns via DLC purchases for $1 per 1,000 credits. For each unlocked gun, you’ll earn a Steam achievement. My favorite gun is the AK-47 since it holds thirty rounds and is quick to reload. Dual wielding them makes you pretty much invincible.

    Shoot Mania VR Fun Zombies
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 70%
    Gameplay - 13/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 3/5

    Morality Score - 82%
    Violence - 5.5/10
    Language - 8.5/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    If you do lose an item you were supposed to protect, the zombies will taunt you. Sadly, one of those taunts include them flipping you off. Violence is a given in this shooting game and the zombies' blood is green in case you were wondering.

    The levels are colorful and there are a few different types of zombies that you’ll be encountering. Some palette swapping takes place as the bigger ones come in different shades. The bigger the zombie, the more bullets they’ll need to take down. The skinnier ones only need a few rounds to defeat them.

    In the end, this is a simple game that is fun to play in short spurts. There’s not a ton of variety, but the price tag takes that into consideration. The gun buyout is a bit annoying, but it’s not necessary. The controls are not very accurate and a laser pointer would be a nice addition to any of the available guns. Despite its flaws, Shoot Mania VR Fun Zombies is worth adding to your VR library if you’re a fan of shooting and zombie games.

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    Subterrain
    Developed By: Pixellore
    Published By: Pixellore
    Released: January 21, 2016
    Available On: Playstation 4, Windows, Xbox One
    Genre: Top-down shooter/survival
    ESRB Rating: M for Mature – Violence, Blood and Gore, Language
    Number of Players: 1
    Price: $16.99
    (Humble Store Link)

    *Advertising disclosure* Though Black Shell Media was a former advertising partner, this review is not influenced by that relationship.

    Thanks to Black Shell Media for the review key!

    Though entertainment is and should be the primary goal of all video games, they can be educational as well. Most run the gamut from transparent Sesame Street shovelware to irreverent Typing of the Dead-esque romps, but a few can teach you practical life lessons as well. In Subterrain’s case, it reinforces a message learned from Doom: don’t build a research base on Mars, lest you get overrun by monsters.

    Subterrain puts you in the shoes of Dr. Albert West, who comes to the Mars colony MPO to develop a cure for his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease. After a lab accident results in the death of a test subject, West is thrown in jail for murder, where he stays until a prisoner transfer gets cut short by a sudden loss of power. As food, water, and emergency power wanes, West escapes his cell from the air duct to find that, while he may be the only one living on MPO, he’s certainly not the only one that’s ambulatory.

    As a top-down shooter, Subterrain has you wandering the various sections of MPO in search of supplies to escape Mars; as a survival game, you’ll have to take West’s hunger, thirst, fatigue, bodily injuries, infection level, and bowel movements under consideration while you do so. MPO is littered with random objects that can be repurposed for raw materials, which are then used to create items to keep West alive and the station’s reactor powered up. Nearly everything is researchable and upgradable using MPO’s built-in facilities and 3D printers, and you’ll get better backpacks, guns, reactor cores, health kits, and more as you progress. Your capacity for creation is limited by your materials and your machines’ software – this becomes the basis for leaving your safe zone at Central Control and prowling the infected halls.

    Subterrain
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Many gameplay features that work well together; lots of helpful details and quality-of-life additions
    Weak Points: Repetitive and overstays its welcome; mediocre music; some framerate drops, vanishing items, and audio glitches
    Moral Warnings: Violence, blood, gore, and disturbing imagery; drug and alcohol use; some mild swearing

    It’s certainly a lot to juggle, but to its credit, Subterrain pulls it off. At first, your progress is hampered by the small size of your backpack – each type of pack has both quantity and weight limits – as well as your oxygen, thermal, and power packs – every zone outside of Central Control has broken filters you need to find and replace, and your flashlight and ranged weapons stop working when your power pack runs out of juice. As you fill up on items and run low on air, you’ll have to head back home, where you can dump your goodies, make new items, and set out again for longer periods of time. As time passes, however, the various sections of MPO become more and more contaminated, resulting in ever-increasing strength and numbers of virus-spawned enemies, who can and will mount attacks on your home base. It all results in a steady power progression for both West and the infection – you’re always getting stronger, but the challenge still progressively rises. If that challenge proves too much or too little, there are four well-documented difficulty options as well as an optional permadeath setting, though you can’t change these in-game.

    Even so, there’s not much variation to the overall gameplay once you settle in. There are fifteen zones outside of Central Control, and all follow the same script: find a data chip or two for your software upgrades, replace the filters, scavenge items, kill mutants, repeat. You’ll have a general knowledge of where to go through journal entries you find laying around, but outside of that you’ll comb the procedurally generated, similar-looking halls for the same objects in every location. The later locations have eleven floors each, with the thermal regulator always located on the final level, so you’ll have to visit each and every area of each and every zone before you’re done. It’s repetitive, lengthy, and nearly soul-crushing near the end, as you’re treated to a fake-out ending and given a new goal to upgrade the filters in every area, now with even stronger and more numerous enemies in your path. If you still have unexplored floors at that point, you’re in for a rough time.

    It’s not all doom and gloom, however; Subterrain is well detailed and full of little quality-of-life additions to help out. The journal entries, while worth reading for the main plot and interesting side stories they convey, have important text highlighted in yellow. West will announce when he’s getting tired, hungry, low on oxygen, and whatnot; though it might seem silly to state that he needs a drink when he’s neck-deep in monsters, it’s certainly helpful. Each of the four general types of creatures have their own sound effects you can hear through doors, and the background music changes dynamically depending on how infected the floor you’re on currently is. Areas of high infection will also take on a grimy bluish filter that will dissipate as you eliminate monsters. All this helps temper the amount of menu-checking busywork you have to do, and makes the ride at least relatively smooth throughout.

    Subterrain
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 78%
    Gameplay - 16/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 6/10
    Stability - 4/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 79%
    Violence - 2/10
    Language - 7.5/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Subterrain’s graphics and art style play well together, even with its rather muted color scheme. Most everything is recognizable at a glance, though it’s occasionally hard to tell drawers and chairs apart. Weapons and armor change appearance with each upgrade, and the aforementioned corruption effect is a nice touch. The sound effects are equally well done: guns of varying levels sound appropriately powerful, and the hum of machinery and the strange noises of the monsters set a fitting tone. West has a few voiceovers, and his acting is a bit disinterested but of decent quality nonetheless. The music, however, is less effective: as it’s tied to the number of creatures in the area, you’ll hear the same generic bass-filled ambient song for a large portion of the first half of the game. It’ll soon get replaced by the “highly infected” tune, which is loud and chaotic to the point of annoyance. With the number of hours you’ll need to put into this game to finish it, you’ll quickly grow tired of the game’s limited soundtrack.

    While generally rare, Subterrain has a few bugs that need pointing out. Perhaps due to the scope of the game, little framerate hiccups can occur, but never for more than a second. The audio has a tendency to glitch out in the final areas and boss fights, likely caused by reloading after death. The most egregious bug, however, has to do with your item shortcuts: each type of armor gives you one to six item slots you can activate with the relevant number keys, but sometimes replacing a slotted item with another will cause the former to vanish entirely. It only happened three or four times through the game, but it’s still annoying to have your supply of health kits vanish into thin air deep in infected territory.

    As expected from a shooter, violence is plentiful. Your enemies disintegrate on death, but shotguns and grenades will blow them apart beforehand. The ground will usually be bloody, and there is no shortage of mutilated human corpses to find. The monsters aren’t technically undead but do have a lot of zombie-like characteristics, and the infection in general makes for some grotesque imagery. While it's for survival rather than recreation, West can drink beer to quench his thirst, and use three different drugs to enhance his abilities for a short time; these are optional for the most part, though the final bosses might be impossible without the use of the speed-increasing drug. There is some swearing, though surprisingly light considering the setting – it’s limited to uncommon uses of “hell” and God’s name in vain. West does use some crude, though not particularly vulgar, language to indicate when he needs to go to the bathroom, but as a cultured man of science, he won't relieve himself anywhere but a toilet even as the last man standing in an apocalypse. The game also blurs West out when he's doing his duty, but he pretty clearly keeps his armor on. Subterrain’s ESRB rating started as Teen but was increased to Mature shortly after launch; the latter designation is much more fitting.

    In the end, Subterrain is a well-crafted game that happens to overstay its welcome. The various parts fit together well, but it’s ultimately a game with little variety. Fans of the survival genre, however, will likely find a large, satisfying experience with a more than fair price tag; there’s no denying the game is good at what it does. He may not be Doomguy, but Dr. West can rip and tear with the best of them.

    -Cadogan

  • boxart
    Game Info:

    When it Hits the Fan
    Developed By: Heartfelt Games LLC
    Published By: Heartfelt Games LLC
    Released: September 19, 2017
    Available On: Windows
    Genre: Top Down Shooter, Action
    ESRB Rating: none
    Number of Players: Single-player, Multi-player
    Price: $9.99

    Thank you Heartfelt Games LLC for sending us this game to review!

    There are multiple types of gamers in the world. For just as assuredly as God fashioned 100% unique individuals, ways to approach video games are just as numerous. However, we can still recognize patterns among the personalities, and the two most general among gamers are the Casuals and the Hardcore. These mentalities require little explanation. Casuals prefer games as an occasional entertainment; ironclad dedication need not apply. Then come the Hardcore gamers. They aren’t solely paid professionals or extremists, but they at the very least consider gaming as their hobby. Just those two differences among buyers factors into how a game is generally received. Years ago, hardcore players were the primary buyers in this market. Games were played for the high score and the challenge, but that’s changed. Gaming today has reached a far wider acceptance, and to appease the masses, most games are now expected to accommodate casual play. Still, there are modern games like When it Hits the Fan that keep the harsher traditions alive.

    This game is really basic, so I can squeeze a lot of topics into one paragraph. For When it Hits the Fan’s story, trouble isn’t brewing in the world. It’s already here. Zombies are rising. Aliens are invading. Killer bots are zapping, and demons are spawning - and all on the same day. Fancy that. I guess they compared calendars. Well, someone’s gotta clean up this mess, so it might as well be our muscle pumped hero. This plot is a good excuse to shoot anything you want. Clearly, the object of When it Hits the Fan is to reach level’s end while gunning down everything in sight. There are four levels. Each level is comprised of three to four stages, and you’re expected to win all its stages in order to unlock the next level. The controls are easy enough. Your mouse lets you aim, and the classic ‘A’, ‘W’, ‘S’, and ‘D’ keys move your macho man around. Game controllers work too. You’ll start off with a basic pistol with its BB-gun levels of firepower. However, there is far superior artillery laying about. Be thankful for that, because you’re headed for a bullet storm of pain. Which is exactly why I’m thankful the control scheme, setup, and rules aren’t any harder than this.

    When it Hits the Fan
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Dishes Out a Good Challenge
    Weak Points: Terribly Frustrating; Abysmal Saving System
    Moral Warnings:64-bit Carnage; Mild Language; Occult References

    When it Hits the Fan’s gameplay comes in two flavors: ‘Panic attack’ and ‘Good gravy! Make it stop!’ There’s no kiddie pool in this swim meet. Jump in, and you’re getting the typhoon. The enemies hunting you swarm in groups. We’re talking oodles per gobs. Some have guns. Some don’t, but they all have their rehearsed attack patterns that you should learn and exploit. You must move constantly to avoid death. Then again, there are mines that some enemies plant too, so watch your step. Not to mention there are enemy spawn points in need of a good bashing. Now, this game obviously wants you to be a one man army, so what’s your advantage? Well, those guns I mentioned, the ones strewn everywhere aren’t for show. They come in many varieties, and are useful for certain situations. The big rifle, for example, has a short-distance, high-damage spread shot. That’s ideal for crowd control and fortified spawn points. However, the machine gun with its long range and rapid fire is king at killing threats from afar. Power ups are everywhere to assist you too, so be sure to pick those up. Oh yeah, I almost forgot there is a multiplayer mode where you aim to get the higher score, but considering I didn’t have a buddy, I couldn’t test it. I can’t imagine When it Hits the Fan acting much differently, though, other than you’d have a friendly comrade to plow the hordes with.

    As for the boss fights. Oh man, the boss fights. Imagine the biggest downpour outside your window, and someone asks you to run though it without getting wet. Yeah. The torrents of lasers these big boys spit at you is that insane. Now, I’m not against harsh challenge. Impossible odds made some of my fondest gaming memories. When it Hits the Fan gave me a generous amount of lives and continues too, so why am I clearly about to get critical? Well, its lack of saving options is a sadistic joke for somebody’s sick kicks. I’ve mentioned that to progress the levels all stages within a level must be finished, right? Well, there are no checkpoints! Even if you’re skilled, it’s unlikely you’ll survive long enough to pass the swarms and figure out the boss’s attack pattern. You’d die within the first few seconds of the battle, not learn anything about it, then have to fight your way back just to try to catch a fleeting glimpse of something actually helpful . . . before you lose again . . . and have to restart . . . again. For Pete’s sake! It’s hard enough just to get there, people!!! But then it gets worse. Apparently, according to When it Hits the Fan, there are no quitters. It’s an insanely cruel policy. Trying to win can suck precious hours of your time. You’d naturally want a break, but if you leave, you’d be sent back to stage one to start all over! All that nail-biting success you sweated for? Gone. That‘s no challenge. That’s a time stealing trap baited for ambitious players like myself. It caused such a disparaging predicament that I verbally prayed to God Himself to get me through the final fight just so I wouldn’t have to backtrack. Of course, He always hears me. In fact, He let me win the very next round. It was another grand testament of His power and compassion, but a game that got me despairing that much should not be.

    When it Hits the Fan
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 56%
    Gameplay - 8/20
    Graphics - 5/10
    Sound - 5/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 76%
    Violence - 4/10
    Language - 7/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    There’s nothing much else to talk about besides the sound and visuals. They’re okay. The digital sprites look nice. Their movements are fluid, and the game never froze. When it Hit’s the Fan’s four levels are set on a city street, a high-voltage lab, Hell, and an alien mothership. Their designs are good if a bit unimaginative with some environmental hazards sprinkled in. There’s also explodable stuff you can blow up just for fun, but it’s disappointing how ineffective the blasts are against your enemies. You’d think an enjoyable idea like that would be a no brainer to add in, but that’s not the case here. Oh well. Either, the developers missed an opportunity, or I’m just too incompetent to pull it off. As for sound effects, they were okay. The music was okay too. Overall, the presentation was just okay. At least When it Hits the Fan wasn’t buggy. The buggiest thing are the giant cockroaches scurrying around.

    When it Hits the Fan may be one word away from the crass pit, but it kept its language surprisingly tame. One or two uses of ‘bada**’ was it. However, this game gives itself a decent blood bath. Zombie bodies you ‘re’-kill linger, and their coagulating blood spatters, complete with a yucky sound effect. I don’t care how unrealistic it looks. It’s puke levels of disgusting. (And so my personal loathing for zombies continues.) You already heard me mention a Hell level. Occult pentagrams are littered everywhere there, and though the devils with pitchforks and bitty horns are poor representations of actual demons, a cartoony portrayal that makes light of a very real threat can be just as bad if not more so than a Biblically accurate one.

    When it Hits the Fan is pretty par for the course among its kind. It doesn’t take its genre to new heights or give it a new spin. Now, it doesn’t have to be revolutionary. It just needs to deliver the kind of fun its intended audience wants, and if you think Casuals are the intended audience, then your head is really stuck in the sand. I don’t see anyone beyond Hardcore gamers really liking this. I can already imagine the rest of my family groaning if they played one minute of this thing. If hard earned accomplishment is what sparks you, go for it, but don’t be surprised if the miserable saving system drives you up a wall. By the way, parents, I suggest searching elsewhere for your child’s game. Zombie bodies and Wiccan circles from Hell wouldn’t be counted as ‘family’ material. Still, there was one new memorable moment I walked away with from my experience. When it Hits the Fan brought me to my spiritual knees for a miracle win. It’s a humbling game. That’s for sure.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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