Review: Troll and I

Troll and I

I can’t, and won’t, call this a proper review. The fact of the matter is that Troll and I is so so so so so (let’s just call it so to the 9,000th power) bad that I couldn’t even get past 10 minutes of the game. Characters shuttering around as they “walk”. The main character has dreads, dreads that are self contained inside their own ecosystem with wind speeds that seem to be at least a factor of 80 past the rest of the world’s wind.

The first action sequence is a running “game” where fire is chasing you so you have to navigate a pathway with obstacles. Let’s go over the 4 separate glitches I encountered on this one sequence alone.

Number 1. The first time it loaded it actually loaded me into a village area where I was simply running straight through the houses and other building like they weren’t even there.

Number 2. After reloading the first time the game never came back. It just froze at the loading screen.

Number 3. When I finally got running the prompts for the obstacles started happening later and later. It got to the point after only a few jumps that prompts were happening AFTER I passed the obstacle. Lucky for me the design is so terrible that ALL the prompts were B.

Number 4. After getting about halfway through the scene the camera rotated and ran my man directly into the side of the rock wall allowing the fire to overtake me. And I tried to recreate this thinking I just forced him that way but you don’t have the much control over the character.

That was all in just one sequence. Two cutscenes, a boar hunting mission and this run mission was all I could stand.

At least Goat Simulator was only $10 and had the decency to tell you ahead of time what you were getting into. Troll and I is just plain absurd at $50 and frankly Maximum Games should be ashamed of themselves for even releasing it.

PROS:
1) None

CONS:
1) Everyting

0
Catastrophic Failure

 

Review: Mr. Shifty

Mr Shifty
Release Date
4/13/2017
Cost
$14.99
Format
Digital
Size
3.6 GB
Play Modes
TV
Tabletop
Handheld
Players
1
Pro Controller?
YES
Developer
Team Shifty
Publisher
TinyBuild
Available On
Nintendo Switch

If you have ever wondered if a reviewer has actually finished a game before writing a review then Mr Shifty is here. I hope that everyone reviewing Mr. Shifty finished it first. The reason being the whole thing is a paltry 3 hours and 6 minutes. And you can ask out loud, “Swaggers, you must be estimating that!” And I would respond, “No. The game tells you your time for each stage and a total run time and whole thing took 3 hours and 6 minutes.” 

I am now going to go over all the many things that are wrong with Mr. Shifty and then hopefully I can come up with a few good things. 

Chairman Stone has the Mega Plutonium and he’s a bad guy so he definitely should not be allowed to have Mega Plutonium so we’re going to go get that Mega Plutonium from him. And go! That is the story and they work on it a bit in the first few levels and then all of a sudden the plot becomes Chairman Stone yelling at you and telling you that you will surely die this level. Every. Single. Level. “You are going to die now.” Anyone know who the Dread Pirate Roberts is? He said that to Westley every day.

You are left wondering the age old chicken vs egg questions. Which came first: The name Mr. Shifty or the ability to Shift? I believe that all the Council members (You get the fact that you are “employed” by a Council in maybe one line in the middle of a level so if you missed that it’s understandable.) were all gathered in the conference room looking over the final two applicants for taking their experimental shiftonium drug. It had been some kind of secret qualification process so no one knew much about anyone else. Both were extremely qualified. Had all the major markers for someone to go on a dangerous mission. One’s family business of 100s of years was probably ruined by the Chairman Stone’s illegal business practices driving the candidate’s dad to drinking and suicide. The other’s sister was murdered by the Chairman Stone’s entitled son during a night of coked up debauchery and Chairman Stone’s sleazy connections to the police chief got him off with no charges. You know, both typical backstory situations. 

Council Member: “Looking over these two reports you are both extremely qualified for this project. It’s going to be a tough decision. What’s your name son?” 
One: “My name is Jack Teleportation.” 
Council Member: “Ohh. That really works with the project. Clear leader here. And you?” 
Two: “Sam Shifty.” 
Council Member: “Your hired!” 
One: “But Teleportation works too!”  
Council Member: “Teleportation is good but this is really just more of a… shift. It’s like 5 feet tops. Shifty is our man. Welcome to the team Sam Shifty!” 

So there is no story Swaggers. That’s not really a big deal because it’s a speed running type game with timers and all that. A couple things get in the way of this speed style game. First there are no leaderboards. Is my 2:56.948 for Stage 1 any good? I really don’t know as there is no way to check it. (Zero deaths by the way. Yeah, I know, I’m that good.) Team Shifty replied to my question about it on Twitter with a, “Leaderboards are something we wanted to put in but had to leave out of the first release. We’ll try.” So at least they acknowledge the shortcoming but it’s not looking hopeful. I also like the “first release” part. DLC? What else is planned for Mr. Shifty? But as the game stands the only replayability is if you ADD and want to try to beat your own score. Leaderboards would go big towards replayability in Mr. Shifty. 

And during your super speedy run through, whether it’s your first time playing or your 10th (and why would you ever play any of these levels 10 times?) you are stuck in sections having to read through the same story over and over. Sometimes you are sitting waiting at the exit for a conversation to finish so you are being artificially held up for no good reason. 

As far as straight up bugs are concerned I had 2 game ending bugs. On one level the end door would not activate after eliminating all the enemies and on another the game simply froze when trying to leave the level. Now 2 bugs might not seem like a lot but when your whole game is only 3 hours long it’s too many. The biggest problem with stage ending bugs in Mr Shifty is there is no real continue. Continue simply means start the entire stage again no matter the reason you leave whether it was by choice or a bug.

I also experienced a LOT of framerate issues, especially in the final 5 or so levels where the number of enemies really ramps up. Framerate issues to the point of complete and total stoppage in the gameplay for seconds at a time. Team Shifty / Tiny Build say a patch is coming to fix this and I’ll re-visit this review if that every happens. 

The gameplay itself is interesting. There are really only 2 actions in the entire game. You are either shifting forward a set distance or hitting someone, preferably from behind. And with only these 2 actions I never really got bored playing. Frustrated at framerate and mad at the game ending bugs, but never bored. New mechanics are added as you go in the form of areas you can’t shift to and minor things like that and levels change slightly so it’s doesn’t get super repetitive but almost all of the stages the goal is simply to kill everyone even if that is not the stated goal. Now to be honest some levels you can fly through but it never really makes that clear so I usually just murdered / knocked out everyone to be safe.  

Mr. Shifty has seems to treat Stages 1 to 14 as the tutorial levels. I completed them all in under 10 minutes each with just a couple of deaths, and those mostly from gotcha type situations. Then from 15 to the finale at 18 my times are 20 minutes plus. It’s like the actual game is only 4 levels long. But those 4 levels show what the game could of been. They are long and involve a lot more planning and strategy to complete.

The graphics aren’t going to knock any socks off but they are detailed and from the first time to the last time it was a real joy to knock someone through a glass window and watch them drop into the oblivion below. That probably says something dark and sinister about me as a person.

In all honestly it doesn’t seems like it would take much to make this a better experience. They are already working on improving the framerates and adding leaderboards would at least add a competitive side. The final few levels are a real challenge but end too soon. Overall it’s just too short, too expensive for length and just too broken to be really enjoyable.

PROS:
1) Final 4 levels are exciting
2) Graphics are simple but detailed

CONS:
1) Lack of leaderboards
2) Lack of story
3) Serious framerate issues
4) Extremely short game

6.2
AVERAGE

 

Snake Pass – Gatekeeper Coins – Cyn-Derr’s Realm

Cyn-Derr’s Realm
9. Flip Flop Foundry

1 – After getting the Double Pyramid Keystone head off the side and a Gatekeeper Coin is off a long pole.

2 – On the edge of a tree at the first spindle.

3 – Across the way on a pillar at the first spindle.

4 – On top of the center piece of the ball track.

5 – Back behind the Cube Keystone.

10. Toasty Trail

1 –

2 –

3 –

4 –

5 –

11.

1 –

2 –

3 –

4 –

5 –

12.

1 –

2 –

3 –

4 –

5 –

Snake Pass – Gatekeeper Coins – Sog-Gee’s Realm

Sog-Gee’s Realm
5. Crooked Canal

1 – Right behind you at the start just below a pole.

2 – In the room with the first lever so that you can get to the Yellow Keystone you need to slither through the stone grate on the side of the room. Outside on a ledge is the Gatekeeper Coin.

3 – At the save point where you push the boulder down the hill there is a pole system with a Gatekeeper Coin at the bottom.

4 – After getting the Pink Keystone you need to underwater and climb some stairs to get the next switch. After the under water part there will be some poles. The Gatekeeper Coin is way off the back below water area.

5 – Under the bridge right before the gate.

6. Lazy Lagoons

1 – At the top of a pillar in the first real water area. Go up to the small stone arch bridge and jump down to get.

2 – After getting the Green Square Keystone you slide down into the water. There is a path at the bottom to a new area and then keep going underwater until you enter a circle cistern with the coin in it.

3 – After rolling the ball and then climbing the new wood poles you can jump over to the previous area and use the high poles to get the coin.

4 – After sliding down the two tube and use the spin gear you need to cross the new platforms and then head back on the tops of them to a pillar with the coin.

5 – Final gatekeeper coin is under the water at the gate.

7. Risky Reservoir

1 – In the first large water area swim to the end and there is a small opening right before the ramp out of the water to an area with a Gatekeeper Coin.

2 – In the water underneath the Green Square Keystone.

3 – After crossing the small broken stone bridge you need to spin the gear on the top of the ledge. It will open a small area that takes you to a large back area with a Coin.

4 – Starting again from the small broken bridge head to the area with a large spike middle. The Gatekeeper Coin is over the edge by two drums.

5 – After filling the spike pit with water, then pulling the lever that is in the pit, you need to swim through the opened area and head left to a Coin just at the end of the stone path.

8. Fumbling Falls

1 – After crossing the spinning stone block there will be a rotating pole to the right with a Coin at the bottom.

2 – From the same starting save point there is a pool to the left. Dive down and through the small hole to find a Gatekeeper Coin at the end.

3 – The Gatekeeper Coin is at the top of a long angled pole you need to work your way up. Head across to the far side and up the moving blocks and back to the coin.

4 – When you get to the block and move up and down the back left block has a path cut out of it. Enter here to get a coin.

5 – Also at the set of blocks moving up and down go over to the small rock fence at the top and on the other side is the coin.

Snake Pass – Gatekeeper Coins – Bol-Dor’s Realm

Bol-Dor’s Realm

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=je7jSiH7luM

1. Paradise Path

1 – Right at the starting area there is a tree on the right. Behind it is a series of bamboo sticks and a Gatekeeper Coin.

2 – Underneath the first bridge. Go over the edge on the far left to a series of bamboo sticks.

3 – After crossing the first bridge its directly on your right.

4 – After 3 you drop down and it will be behind you.

5 – To the side of the gate under a bamboo structure. You don’t need to use the bamboo, just use ZL to lock yourself in place and grab the coin with your head.

2. Courtyard Clamber

1 – At the first save point if you drop down by the water and climb the series of bamboo to your right to the top there is a Gatekeeper Coin.

2 – Past the bridge and behind the Green Keystone is another small bamboo series of sticks to climb to a rock platform.

3 – Over the side down below this area is a bamboo stick with a Coin underneath. Use the ZL to lock Doodle in place and use your head to grab the Gatekeeper Coin. Then pull yourself back up.

4 – Behind the Orange Hexahedron Keystone is a series of sticks out over the void with a Gold Coin.

5 – After grabbing the last Keystone continue around the corner for a small series of bamboo to get you to the top of the platform and the final Gatekeeper Coin.

3. Gatekeeper Gardens

1 – As you climb the first wood ladder it will be at the top of the stone arch above you. There is ground underneath you so just coil up and make a mad dash for the coin.

2 – Right out in the open on a small stone platform next to the Yellow Square Keystone.

3 – Just around back on the ledge at top of the top area.

4 – From the save point on the top ledge dash off the platform to the rock platform below to get the Gatekeeper Key.

5 – Around back of the tree stone platform just off the top save point. There is no ground under you so coil around the pole to reach the coin and then climb back to the tree.

4. Creeping Causeway

1 – Just before the water area there is a stick pointing out over the abyss. Might want to go across the water first to activate the save point.

2 – Past the save point you need to climb to the next rock platform. This is on the ground level to the back right hidden behind a plant.

3 – Just past this last Gatekeeper Coin is another save point. And then over the edge is large pole structure with a Coin near the top. This area can be difficult because not only do you need to get the Coin without failing into the void but you also need to do another wood structure to get back to the top safe area.

4 – After getting the Purple Keystone come back over the ledge and jump off to the pillar below. Be careful as there is a lot of void to the sides of the pillar.

5 – Underneath the gate area at the back is a small moss covered opening. The Gatekeeper Coin is inside.

Human Resource Machine – Years 20 to 41

Multiplication Workshop [Year 20]

For each two things in the INBOX, multiply them, and OUTBOX the result. Don’t worry about negative numbers for now.

Size (15)

Speed (109)

Zero Terminated Sum [Year 21]

Add together all the numbers in each string. When you reach the end of a string (marked by a ZERO), put your sum in the OUTBOX. Reset and repeat for each string.

Size (10) and Speed (72)

Fibonacci Visitor [Year 22]

For each thing in the INBOX, send to the OUTBOX the full Fibonacci Sequence up to, but not exceeding that value. For example, if INBOX is 10, OUTBOX would be 1 1 2 3 5 8.
1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 …

Size (19) and Speed (156)

The Littlest Number [Year 23]

For each zero terminated string in the INBOX, send to the OUTBOX only the SMALLEST number you’ve seen in that string. You will never be given an empty string. Reset and repeat for each string.

Size (13) and Speed (25)

Mod Module [Year 24]

For each two things in the INBOX, OUTBOX the remainder that would result if you had divided the first by the second. Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to divide. And don’t worry about negative numbers for now.

Size (12) and Speed (57)

Cumulative Countdown [Year 25]

For each thing in the INBOX, OUTBOX the sum of itself plus all numbers down to zero. For example, if INBOX is 3, OUTBOX should be 6, because 3+2+1=6.

Size (12) and Speed (82)

Small Divide [Year 26]

For each two things in the INBOX, how many times does the second fully fit into the first? Don’t worry about negative numbers, divide by 0, or remainders.

Size (15) and Speed (76)

Three Sort [Year 28]

For each THREE THINGS in the INBOX, send them to the OUTBOX in order from smallest to largest.

Size (34)

Speed (78)
Storage Floor [Year 29]

Imagine each thing in the INBOX is an address. And each address refers to a tile 0-9 on the floor. Your task: For each address in the INBOX, pick up the letter at that address and OUTBOX it.

Size (5) and Speed (25)
String Storage Floor [Year 30]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
String Reverse [Year 31]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
Inventory Report [Year 32]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
Vowel Incinerator [Year 34]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
Duplicate Removal [Year 35]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
Alphabetizer [Year 36]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
Scavenger Chain [Year 37]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
Digit Exploder [Year 38]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
Re-Coordinator [Year 39]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
Prime Factory [Year 40]
Size (x) and Speed (x)
Sorting Floor [Year 41]
Size (x) and Speed (x)

Human Resource Machine – Years 1 to 19

Although your progress towards the Size and Speed goals are not shown until you pass Zero Exterminator [Year 7], all progress you made will be shown at that time. Note that one solution may not work for both Size and Speed. There are 3 tabs within each Year so that you may work on multiple solution options at the same time.

Mail Room [Year 1]

Your program should tell your worker to grab each thing from the INBOX, and drop it into the OUTBOX.

Size (6) and Speed (6)

Busy Mail Room [Year 2]

Grab each thing from the INBOX, and drop each one into the OUTBOX.

Size (3)

Speed (25)

Copy Floor [Year 3]

Ignore the INBOX for now, and just send the following 3 letters to the OUTBOX: B U G

Size (6) and Speed (6)

Scrambler Handler [Year 4]

Grab the first TWO things from the INBOX and drop them into the OUTBOX in reverse order. Repeat until the INBOX is empty.

Size (7) and Speed (21)

Rainy Summer [Year 6]

For each two things in the INBOX, add them together, and put the result in the OUTBOX.

Size (6) and Speed (24)

Zero Exterminator [Year 7]

Send all things that ARE NOT ZERO to the OUTBOX.

Size (4) and Speed (23)

Tripler Room [Year 8]

For each thing in the INBOX, TRIPLE it. And OUTBOX the result.

Size (6) and Speed (24)

Zero Preservation Initiative [Year 9]

Send only the ZEROs to the OUTBOX.

Size (5) and Speed (25)

Octoplier Suite [Year 10]

For each thing in the INBOX, multiply by 8, and put the result in the OUTBOX.

Size (9) and Speed (36)

Sub Hallway [Year 11]

For each two things in the INBOX, first subtract the 1st from the 2nd and put the result in the OUTBOX. AND THEN, subtract the 2nd from the 1st and put the result in the OUTBOX. Repeat.

Size (10) and Speed (40)

Tetracontiplier [Year 12]

For each thing in the INBOX, multiply it by 40, and put the result in the OUTBOX.

Size (14) and Speed (56)

Equalization Room [Year 13]

Get tw0 things from the INBOX. If they are EQUAL, put ONE of them in the OUTBOX. Discard non-equal pairs. Repeat!

Size (9) and Speed (27)

Maximization Room [Year 14]

Grab TWO things from the INBOX, and put only the BIGGER of the two in the OUTBOX. If they are equal, just pick either one. Repeat!

Size (10) and Speed (34)

Absolute Positivity [Year 16]

Send each thing from the INBOX to the OUTBOX. BUT, if a number is negative, first remove its negative sign.

Size (8) and Speed (36)

Exclusive Lounge [Year 17]

For each TWO things in the INBOX:
Send a 0 to the OUTBOX if they have the same sign. (Both positive or both negative.)
Send a 1 to the OUTBOX if their signs are different. Repeat until the INBOX is empty.

Size (12) and Speed (26)

Countdown [Year 19]

For each number in the INBOX, send that number to the OUTBOX, followed by all numbers down to (or up to) zero. It’s a countdown!

Size (10)

Speed (82)

ACA NEOGEO

ACA NEOGEO
Release Date
3/9/2017
Cost
$7.99 each
Format
Digital
Size
75 MB – 180 MB
Play Modes
TV
Tabletop
Handheld
Players
1 – 2
Pro Controller?
YES
Developer
Hamster
Publisher
Hamster
Available On
Nintendo Switch
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