OneShot – But not really!

oneshot

This game was requested many times by “camelpuncher”, a person who gets shot at least once a day, because that’s what living in a capital city is all about!

“I wish I could make a beautiful, unique and involving puzzle game on RPGMaker” – The spider in the corner of my room.

When I was first introduced to “OneShot”, I had weird expectations about the game. With its concept of having only one chance, one gameplay session, I thought it would try to be mean and send me over to the abyss of canned tuna, if I screw up at some point in the game. However, it turned out that the game is pretty generous about it, a bit too much for its own good perhaps. Getting the bad ending depends literally on you choosing to quit at any point, before you get to the end. Apart from that, the game also makes auto- saves and forces you to take brakes every now and then. It’s a one- shot type of deal where you can really take your time, but not really! Considering how short “OneShot” is, the player is unlikely to be in real need of a break between every ten to twenty minutes of a gameplay session. Given that we live in the era of busy machines, office parties and where everyone has some mental disorder, the job edition, there could always be a case of someone making use of those breaks – A true hardcore gamer who plays only for a bit each day, while investing the rest of their time into “actual” work. The word [actual] here can be understood in more ways than one!

souls

In my opinion, if one is to make a short game, a good idea would be to work on making the game leave a strong impression on the player or having a decent replay value. With the way and idea this game was made, both of these are pretty much nonexistent. The game restricts itself for the sake of appearing unique, without the need to really do so. I notice the lack of commitment and dedication from the plot and the main character. So here we are, this is Niko, a cat person, but not really! Just because someone has the features of a cat creature, that does not necessary makes them related. You get to save a world by bringing a big light bulb to a place, but not really! The world is already dying due to other reasons and your quest won’t fix that – As acknowledge by the game itself via the words of a certain NPC. Now why is that? Did this game really need to try and appeal deep and whatnot itshowuwantittobe crap?  Maybe it was all experimental – After all, there is also a remastered version of the game on Steam, which supposedly covers most of the problems presented within’ the original release. Supposedly.

OneShot 1.1 DONE!

The art in the game is pretty great. Same goes for the music. They manage to create a pretty unique atmosphere, that fits well with the few location that you get to explore in the game. The character design is decent, but you usually meet characters once and off you go then. You are, after all, on a quest to save the world, but not really, as we just discussed. The puzzles are alright, but they are not all that difficult, mainly due to the fact that “there so much you can do” syndrome is presented. Watch out though! The game will break the fourth Chinese vase and try to make YOU part of the game, while installing many copies of “Earthworm Jim: The simulator” on your computer PC machine, without your permission! Your hidden bitcoin stashes might also be in danger!

4.7 out of 10!

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The White Chamber – Horror in Cyberpunk Space that you bite!

white chamber

The last entry to the spooky LR19 volume for this year, a game that I was planning to make a post about one month ago. “The White Chamber” is an adventure game made with the Wintermute engine. I was quite curious to check out the tool itself and honestly, I was pretty impressed by the things you can do with it. Along with that, I was also surprised by the decent- sized game library that it had spawned, with some titles looking really intriguing. This one in general, I enjoyed quite a lot! The game features psychological horror elements, along with some cyberpunk aesthetics and a typical anime style for the early years of the past decade.

The game starts with a girl waking up from inside a coffin, with her memories about the past and her identity not being intact. It’s a setting I’m quite familiar with when it comes to introductions in certain games and movies, but honestly, I don’t see myself getting tired of it. What makes it better than other overused scenarios is the fact that it’s quite flexible and it gives the opportunity for the plot to do whatever and go wherever, without too much of a restriction really. The overall plot of “The White Chamber” is pretty good in my opinion, but I think that one should try it and experience it for themselves. This is a no- spoiler kingdom website- blog!

The whole story takes place on a space station. Some space station that is though, I’ve gotta give credit to the person behind the graphic and art design, as everything looks GREAT! This was some pretty creepy space station and the ambient sounds added to the whole atmosphere and experience fittingly well! When it comes to the horror part, the game goes for the whole “Dark world – Light world” gimmick, with the addition of subtlety involved. During my first run, the whole time I was expecting jump- scares or a chase sequence, but the game is too cool for that crap! “The White Chamber” is a pretty good example of the type of horror that I enjoy!

The White Chamber 1.1 DONE!

Another thing worth mentioning is the neat style of animation. This game features animated cutscenes, most of which are pretty short, but still enjoyable to watch. The puzzles in the game are really good and I honestly got stuck for quite a while at a certain, early point in the game. I was not bothered with it though.When your game is pleasant to look at, people won’t mind spending time with it, game progress or not. I like how they made some items in the game serving no purpose whatsoever, but they didn’t get crazy with the concept. You know what else I enjoyed? The game has various endings, some of which have certain requirements. However, the game has a way of indirectly giving you a hint as to how you are doing on your playthrough. THAT is quite helpful as it lets you analyze the outcome of your actions for a specific area or an event, early on. I’ve never seen a game do this before, at least not in such an effective way.

Things that I didn’t really enjoy – The “best” ending that you can achieve and that one “inside the console” Easter Egg. I don’t know, they feel kind of outdated as an ideas. They are silly. Dumb. Some people might still like them. I could have liked them if I played this game ten years ago. Maybe!

If you want to play a short adventure game with good puzzles and horror that doesn’t stink, this is the title for you. The game is also FREE! FREE!!!! I give it 8 out of 10.

There was something something about a steam- remastered version, which looks pretty promising, but why would you change the art style? Why does remastering a game is even a thing? Why can’t do world and the people be the way I want them? Wh..

A pair of leftover witches

yaga

What is a witch? A witch is a woman, usually at around the age of 19 to 1675, a genuine hoarder of various food ingredients, ancient magical artifacts and educational magazines from the 80s. Especially good at making delicious mushroom stew and mind- bending, juicy, frog cocktails, a witch would always say “No” to a game of poker without at least some minor gamble in it. A witch may build a store just for the sake of having one. Witches are pretty cool overall!

While Halloween was over almost a week ago, I still have some stuff that I didn’t managed to post for the spooky LR19 event, due to me getting sick and also having bad internet connection. Two of those games are “Witches” by James Burton and “Wendy: Every Witch Way” for the Game Boy Color…

Witches DONE!

“Witches” is a fairly old game by James Burton for the PC. I remember playing it quite a bit during my middle and high school years, though I would go only as far as reaching the 10th level or so. The story of the game revolves around a group of witches who start acting weird, way more weird than the usual weird, due to some unknown phenomenon. The youngest witch in the group remains unaffected though and she decides to unravel the mystery behind her sisters unusual behavior.

Controls are a bit clunky to be fair. You have two forms in the game – A normal one and a witch- transformation. During the normal one, you can walk, jump, duck, craw around, grab on to ledges and climb on, cast a limited number of spells… Picking up a broom item will let you transform into one of the witches you’ve defeated previously. In this form, you can fly and move freely around, while being able to cast a certain type of spell without any limit whatsoever. This form itself has a time limit and getting hit by an enemy will cancel it in an instant. Switching between both forms is a must if you wish to be able to successfully navigate through all the over- twenty levels in the game. Take care not to glitch inside a wall while using the witch form or get stuck in a place that requires a broom for you to take off! I was unfortunate enough to experience both and I resorted to using a password once to recover my progress! There were no enemies that I could use to kill myself and start from the checkpoint and sadly, there isn’t a button that would let you restart a level. Sometimes, hitting all the buttons helps with getting unstuck from a wall. Sometimes.

There is quite the huge variety of spells that you can cast. You can turn monsters into frogs, freeze them, make them levitate… Normal damage shot, explosive shot, triple shot, Contra 7 – the [SPIDER] wars. You can stop time, become immortal for a few seconds… For all the items, combined with the various monsters and bosses within’ the game, there is quite a lot to experience. Some levels are huge and present lots of opportunities for exploration. That’s it, unless you play on lower difficulty, where you get a map to help you out. Honestly, the highest difficulty feels like the most proper difficulty. One hit death, no maps – It calls for accurate performance and careful navigation, all and all while relying on a limited resources, in terms of items that’s it. The checkpoints in the game are pretty reasonable though!

Traverse vast mountains, get chased by a horde of vengeful frogs who used to be monsters, but got transformed by you and the spell is ’bout to expire, get eaten by witch- eating slimes, get spooked by gray- grave imps rising from the ground, climb clouds, drown in a swamp, get lost in an ice castle, have a deadly spider fall on your head as you ascend with a broom, get killed by a witch as you enter her chamber, without being able to do anything about it. There goes my hope for a no- death run, due to some silly RNG!

I love the music in the game. Classic classical music pieces are my hot pocket full of salami. The witch fights are pretty clever and innovative, though I can not say that for the last boss, who felt like one huge pile of mess. I don’t know if his design was based on the idea of making the fight difficult, but if so, that certainly wasn’t the answer. If anything, the whole fight felt raw, boring and uninspired.

In the end, “Witches” is a game that I really enjoy and I am proud to put into my “best Halloween game pick” pick. Thank you for making, James Burton!!!

Wendy - Every Witch Way DONE!

Remember the gravity reverse gimmick from that one Mega Man game? “Wendy: Every Witch Way” ‘s whole gameplay is based solely on that, just like that one game with the lots of Vs in its name. Though here, there are linear levels and you can defend against dark arts like snails and Tiki Men hiding in bushes! Also, you can take a number of hits from enemies, but spikes are still instant death. The overall level design is really good and I like how the gravity concept ACTUALLY affects certain enemies and platforming segments. The controls are pretty good and the graphics are pleasant. The difficulty is overall reasonable. While the final boss is quite easy, I’m glad that instead of making it entirely a shmup thing, they still made the main [gravity reverse] gimmick play an important role in it! Plot is about something something collecting magical stones and whatnot, it’s all good with me, really.

For my first “Game Boy Color” title that I’ve tried and played, I am more than satisfied with it. Wendy is a cute witch!

Killer Bear – Confusion within’ the cutscene

killerbear

“Killer Bear” is a RPGMaker game that takes on the classic horror -slasher genre, with a pinch of light- hearted feeling to the overall atmosphere. As you take on the role of [Mike], you are invited to a house party, on which a rumor about a serial killer named “Killer Bear” arise. It’s a fairly short game, despite the many possible endings that one can achieve. The game focus is mainly on decision making, regarding actions that may or may not lead to the death of the people inside the building.

What I really enjoyed about this game is the composition of the various endings. Rather than feeling like a different outcomes to one grand story, the way they are made makes you feel like you are playing through a different plot setup each time. The role of the [Killer Bear] character also changes with that and I think this is the selling charm- point of the game.By “changes” I mean given to and shuffled through certain characters, with the whole idea of a serial- killer being DEAD – real or nonexistent completely!

Ideally, for a maximum amount of satisfaction, you should go for the full – experience playthrough and try to get all the endings!

Killer Bear 1.7 DONE!

I don’t really have any actual complains regarding this game. The graphics are pretty cute and neat. The music… it’s there! Along with the sounds! It’s quite the amazing statement, alright! As a whole, it’s pretty solid game, no less! Though, to be fair, I did had trouble with getting ‘Ending A’! It’s not like I didn’t had the general idea of trying to keep everyone within’ the house alive, it just took me a while to figure out how to do so. For one thing, I was unaware of the fact that I can take action during some cutscenes. Maybe that’s due to the fact that you are given a fairly short amount of time to take action and do the right thing, along with some vision obscure further on. All the trouble that I had with that, I blame myself for not reading more carefully the [Read Me] file, which… tells you about this little gimmick. TAKE NOTES KIDS, TAKE NOTES!!!

Rumors say that I consider this to be a 8.5 out of 10 video game… WHAT?!?!

LR19 Spooky Mystery Video Games Mixer!

mixer

This is the first and potentially not the last post where I talk about five games that I’ve played for the new Halloween- themed volume. What is October to you? To me, October is the month where I hide inside my room during the cold weather and shove all the poached pears in the world inside my abyssal mouth. Spook times!!!

Basketball Nightmare [Sega Master System]

Basketball Nightmare DONE!

The only enjoyable thing in this game to me were the animated cutscenes that play during the slam dunks. Indeed, they are pretty rough and stiff, but I find them charming nevertheless. The overall gameplay feels like a watered- down “Tecmo NBA Basketball [NES]”, where you can also stand in front of your active opponent, which stops them right in their tracks, either until they realize half a minute later that the ball can be passed down or you steal it from them. There is quite the weird RNG when it comes to successful shots, regardless of their range! I liked the variety of the monster teams that you get to play against in the story mode. However, playing and beating each of them ends up being quite the boring task and I have no idea how I did it on my first try! Wait, I do! I kept blocking their active players!

Drac’s Night Out [NES]

Drac's Night Out 1.1 DONE!

You are Drac and you have to go out on a date with this one girl each day, for five times in a row! Every round, you have to exit your home first and then find the house where the girl lives. Exiting your home is pretty challenging, given that it gets invaded by villagers constantly. Lucky you though, you can activate traps or call for the help of various monsters. If a villager is hurt, you can consume them for blood [HP] and you transform once you’ve accumulate enough of them. Once you transform, you turn into a bat, which lets you go through a part of the level fairly quickly, ignoring all danger and whatnot. There is also a fall damage and shoes that you can collect which grant you speed and the ability to jump over wide gaps, villagers, traps and something that I didn’t knew until I finished the game was that you can jump on villagers to stun them! The house is divided by five sections and for each round, you have to exit through the door on the lowest floor, on the same section you woke up. On each new round, Drac wakes up at a different location on the highest floor. During your descend, you are free to go to other sections, which is also a key element at certain times. As the rounds go by, some traps and monsters can harm you as well and the villagers speed and invasion pace increases by a bit. Here’s few hints from me:

/ You can jump over rolling rocks and wheels if you are close enough to them and time your jump well./ [Without shoes!]

/Careful when you transition to the first section of the house on round two, as it is possible to get stuck quite early, but I guess you can [EAT] your way out of it. [?]/

/At the start of round three, to avoid fall damage when you transition to section four, you can start your jump from section three./

/The light switch needed to remove the darkness in round four is located two floors below you, on the left. It’s quite safe and easy to access, but it took ME a while to find it! At the start, I went as far as to play half of the section in complete darkness…/

/Grinding villagers for transformation can save you lots of time, mainly doing annoying transitioning from one section of the house to another and dealing with hordes of pesky villagers. There is also a switch towards the end of round five which you can access easily as a bat, rather than trying to go for the shoes and learn the platforming momentum, which will cost you a few falls./

Drac's Night Out 1.2 DONE!

The second part of the game takes a different turn from the early platforming and puts you into a top- down perspective. As Drac, now you have to locate the house of the girl, which of course is done by asking/ consuming people for directions and items. The early rounds are quite generous as they provide you with a map and the bridges in town are still intact. Later rounds, the game make you find a map from a merchant and the bridges are removed. How important those factors are depends entirely on the girl’s location, which is always randomly generated. You know, given that she is the only lady in town that can afford to dress in plain, semi- dark blue [?], it’s obvious that she comes from a rich family that probably owns half the town. There is also now the classic mob with pitchforks and torches, which are sadly, an instant GAME OVER for Drac if they come into contact with him. While I do think that the time limit within’ the game and Drac’s HP meter are quite generous, getting stuck on a path between two mob groups is probably one of the worst feelings in the video game universe, especially on later rounds, ESPECIALLY if you are going for a no- death run… Here’s be hints from me:

/As houses have both front and back exits, the same applies to entrances! I know, it’s amazing! Few people would be willing to enter through a door they can’t see though…/

/Need to cross the river but bridges are out? Trapdoors inside some houses can lead you across. You just need to find the correct houses!/

/Mob groups are the worst thing in the universe, but they can’t harm you during your transformation. [In this part, Drac transforms into a dog/ or wolf???] Pick up some shoes to boost your speed up even further during your transformation and you’ll be flying through half the town in now time! [Not really, but still, the feeling is pretty great!]

Scooby-Doo: Curse of Anubis – Pyramid of Doom!

Scooby-Doo - Curse of Anubis - Pyramid of Doom! DONE!

I was never all that big of a fan on the whole Scooby- Doo series. I remember watching a few episodes, back in the days, simply because there wasn’t anything else, more interesting, running at the time. So do I remember. At that time, the kids in my school would go crazy over the series for some reason, making conversations and topics about it for the whole day. When I was asked about my opinion, I would state that I have no interest in things that are not/related to] video games and at the time, our country wasn’t big on importing any Scooby-Doo games whatsoever.    [?]

“Scooby-Doo: Curse of Anubis – Pyramid of Doom!” is a flash game that I picked randomly a few days ago. It features and isometric view and pushing block elements, along with a limit regarding how many steps you can make. The goal is to reach the exit door in each room. Blocks serve as a mere obstacles and are not required for a specific arrangement. The ten levels that I played felt pretty decent. Maybe there could have been more, with additional gimmicks? It took me two tries to complete the game with what I assume is the highest possible score?

The thing about the game is that you have limit on your steps, not an actual time limit. Thus, you can take your time to plan your path ahead quite well. The whole isometric perspective might add a bit of a weird feeling to it, but it’s nothing too complicated really.

Scooby-Doo Mystery [Sega Genesis]

Scooby-Doo Mystery 1.1 DONE!

Scooby-Doo as an adventure game was a fairly satisfying experience. One can argue as to how it can’t match other titles in the genre of the time in terms of visuals and ESPECIALLY sound, but as a whole, I personally had no problems with any of those. The game features two chapters which are pretty short, but there is enough puzzle- solving and exploring to satisfy even the veterans of the High Mountain Adventure Game Club Dragon Breath VII. Some items are quite well hidden, so I suggest looking carefully and interacting with things in many ways as possible. There are no dead ends or bullshit- logic at hand, which is nice. Not always, but as a whole, quite nice. If you are in the mood for some casual and comfy adventure game, featuring the two blockheads from the Scooby-Doo series, you are in for quite the ride!

I like how the game gives you indirect hints/ direction through Scooby, who follows you around everywhere. You even get to interact with him at a certain, single, one point! It’s a nice little touch, but I liked it quite a lot.

Scooby-Doo Mystery 1.2 DONE!

Sweet Home [NES]

Sweet Home 1.5 DONE!

This is a survival- horror, top- down perspective game that I’ve put on a hold even since I learned about it around 2009. I saw it first on some forums, then I briefly saw some LPs, it was suggested to me by friends and foes, by my own self and eventually, there it is! 2017, Halloween blast baby, “Sweet Home”…    IS REALLY SWEET! Man, I really do regret not playing it sooner…

Sweet Home 1.4 DONE!

In the game, you take control of five people, who get locked inside an old mansion – house- building, which turns out to be haunted. Finding an exit and learning more about the ghost who locked you up are your main priorities, as well as trying to keep as many members of your party alive as possible.  You can control each person separately or you can put them into groups of up to three people. Each character has their own special thing, like one can open locked doors with a key, other can cure ill- stats, burn ropes and so on. If someone dies, you lose on their special item, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get stuck! There are additional items that can replicate the effect of the special item that the death member possessed. There is a maid in the game and I really liked that, since you don’t see those often in games like this, especially with the power to ACTUALLY clean garbage and open new paths! Honestly, the whole cast of the game is pretty awesome, despite how simple and generic they might seem at first sight.

Sweet Home 1.2 DONE!

Each character has a limited inventory space, so a few reasons to keep as many people alive as possible are to keep items organized and to avoid needless backtracking. There are quite a lot of items within, the game – Some are needed to open new paths, other are needed for solving a certain puzzle. There is also an item which restores HP and WEAPONS! That’s right! Apart from just going around the house, collecting items and solving stuff, you also get to FIGHT! Randomly generated encounters put the lovely cast of “Sweet Home” against some pretty neat foes! Not so neat in terms of names, but visually, every enemy in “Sweet Home” I found to be pretty cool. Spooky cool!

Sweet Home 1.3 DONE!

You get experience from fighting enemies, which makes your characters stronger, up to a maximum level of 20. The battles are easier when done in a big group of three and with acquiring better weapons. While you don’t need to level up every character in the game, you do need at least three or two of them to be tough enough to face further encounters and the boss of the game. Having all your characters leveled up and well equipped lets you move them more freely, potentially dealing with encounters easily and using them from whatever part of the game you might need them. I think that Emi and Akiko are pretty important during the whole course, as locked doors and ill- stats are the things most presented within’ the game. Thus, having them leveled up and geared well is a good strategy for a successful run.

Sweet Home 1.1 DONE!

Leveling up comes naturally and no actual grinding is needed as you progress. I like how rewarding leveling up and obtaining good weapons is, to the point where it makes your group virtually untouchable by attacks from normal encounters. The logic behind the puzzles is pretty solid and easy to follow. There are two VERY WELL hidden items, which I didn’t managed to find until after I finished the game. Honestly though, they are not all that great, not game- breaking at all! More like optional, depending on how much free inventory space you can afford, really.

Playing this game, I could see how it managed to inspire various series and titles that came years after it. “Sweet Home” was like a grand feast, but I’m full. Full, full! Not just nap time- full. Damn! What a good game!