GripGames recently announced Toxic Games’ physics-based puzzler was heading to consoles. On the heels of the original trailer they have just released another trailer featuring gameplay of what to expect in Q.U.B.E – Director’s Cut on your way to becoming Q.U.B.E Champion.
Q.U.B.E. – Director’s Cut is scheduled for release later this Summer, with no set date as of yet. Be sure to keep checking GameGuideCentral.com for all the latest news and info as well as an in-depth review and achievement guide when the game releases.
Chariot is a puzzle based platformer with couch co-op features and a humorous tone. Developed by Frima Studios, the game tasks you with pulling and pushing the king’s funeral wagon through caverns and caves to a place to bury the remains. Along the way the witty king’s ghost complains and barks out orders as he wants you to collect as much loot as possible and find the perfect place to rest. The game focuses on secrets, unlocks, and branching paths in level by level progression.
Chariot’s gameplay is extremely simple. Each level however is not. The player is tasked with basically moving the chariot through, over, under, around obstacles to the finish of the level while collecting gold. There’s a rope that can be attached to the chariot to pull it over tough objects and to the goal. There are branching paths and hidden items everywhere. Some trails lead to more gold and other may lead to blueprints that can unlock equipable items to help along the journey. Items like a light to travel in the dark or a pin to place the rope in one spot to let the chariot hang to help traverse to new spots. The gameplay is straightforward to a fault. Although this could be categorized as a puzzle game, it will almost never challenge the mind. Each “puzzle” moment was just another time-consuming obnoxious barrier in the way. Moving around is slow and monotonous, as it takes an extensive time to just move the casket on wheels anywhere. The gameplay isn’t demanding enough on the brain to make it feel like a puzzle and the movement isn’t fun enough to make the game feel like a platformer. The levels are massive. The first few are basic, but the deeper you get into the game the larger the maps become. The branching paths at first are nice, but quickly it becomes tedious to collect everything. In a game like Mario, as an example of a standard platformer, when you see a pipe to climb down or a secret path you can quickly run down at full speed, hop on some goombas on the way, get the secret Yoshi coin and be on your way. It’s fun to go find hidden things because just running and jumping is fun in it of itself. In Chariot it feels like such a chore to just get to the finish, why would I feel obligated to go off and explore in different areas?
The good thing about the hidden items in Chariot is that they do improve the overall experience. In many games the collectables are just for fun—in Chariot they actually allow for the unlocking of some helpful items. However with so many branching paths it became annoying to take the time to go down all of these paths and get gold nine times out of ten and only get that nice blueprint after every nook and cranny has been checked. Gold in it of itself is used to buy things after turning in blueprints at the store, but running out of gold is hard to do as it’s everywhere.
Chariot does a very nice job teaching the player about gameplay mechanics. In some games all you get is a picture of a controller with words mapped to each button (one of my personal biggest video game pet peeves). In other games there can be lengthy confusing tiresome tutorials. I think the bet games educate how to play the game by creating intuitive level design that naturally teaches what to do. This could be as simple as just having a sign that says, “Don’t fall down that pit man, there’s totally snakes and stuff down there and that’s just scary! Press A to jump over it kay?” Or it can be as helpful as seeing that first bullet bill in Mario sail way over your head, so you can clearly see how that enemy moves and attacks, so that the next time it actually does fly straight at Mario you can jump over it with ease. Chariot does this smart instruction of its game for the most part, except when it comes to attacking the bad guys…
One of the most annoying parts about Chariot is the enemies, or as the king calls them, looters. Rat like creatures and bat like creatures hide inside of holes in the wall and attack the king’s treasury to attempt to run off with the gold. The first few times this happened to me I had no idea that I could slice these little cretins by pressing ‘X’. Once that’s learned they become just obnoxious foes that get in the way. The way to avoid them completely is to move quietly and slowly passed the dark holes they live in. Simple enough right? WRONG! You have to move like a slug on sedatives to evade these snatching scalawags. Seriously just the slightest movement will make them all attack you, which again isn’t a big problem it just makes the game THAT much more boring. Even worse is that the majority of the spots where the looters are hidden are places that are impossible to avoid. For example I fell down a mandatory pit and at the bottom were three holes filled with bats that came swarming out as the king screamed out, “I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO BE QUIET!” I had literally no choice but to awake all of these loathsome thieves. Or on similar moments there are barriers to climb over and drop down on the other side and even though I see the looters waiting in their little hole and I know I can’t make a big noise, the only way to get down off the ledge is to drop down right on top of them. It’s like every single decision made in the game’s design was to force the player to move unnecessarily slow. To reiterate, the game’s movement and pace is already very slow. There are seemingly endless branching paths that give me things that only slightly push the game forward. The “puzzles” are more like exhausting time-consuming hills to climb up and over as opposed to creative brain-teasers. And now they throw in enemies that provide no physical challenge other than being MORE dreary obstacles in my way and if I want to try to avoid them completely I have to move even slower and quieter than ever? I’m not sure if I’ve ever played a game this anti-ADHD! I’m not at all opposed to slow paced methodicital games, in fact I love a lot of them. But because the puzzles aren’t really puzzles, the platforming really isn’t platforming, and the enemies aren’t really enemies there doesn’t seem to be a logical reason at all to make this game so deliberately sluggish.
There is couch co-op in Chariot but no online play at all. Each level can be completed a bit easier and faster with two players pushing and pulling the dead king to the goal. And there are also hidden areas in every level that can only be reached when two players combine forces and take on the task together. This actually helps the game, as the quicker pace negates some of the slow-paced flaws. But it’s not enough to save the game completely. And the decision to be couch co-op only is a bad one. I do love that couch co-op has made a small resurgence as of late, there’s nothing quite like competitively or cooperatively playing with a buddy right by your side. But many of us don’t have this opportunity. Why not be able to jump online with a friend and tackle the king’s demands as a team? It’s ashamed that this isn’t an option as it could have been one of the games saving graces.
There is a charm about Chariot that is nice. The art style is simple yet colorful and vibrant. In some levels plants and colors grow and shine as soon as you walk near them. The whole game takes place underground, so it can’t stretch its wings in very unique ways but the overall graphical design is still fine. The animations are cute and the characters are fun. However just the game itself, it’s probably too simple for its own good. How many indie style games look pretty much exactly like this? It’s wonderful to see games like Fez, Limbo, SuperTimeForce or Minecraft be limited in their overall graphical power but still manage to create their own unique artful style. Chariot is just another cartoonish sidescroller. The voice acting is one part perfect and one part appalling. The king does the majority of the speaking and his lines are often clever and amusing. He’s both demanding and needy, which is always a hilarious mix. His lines are quickly repeated however and this get’s old fast. Meanwhile there’s a skeleton that runs the shop above the caverns and the writing and execution of his character is awful. His voice completely doesn’t fit. The moment he started talking it pulled my out of the game’s experience and I for an instant didn’t even know who was talking. I thought the skeleton CLEARLY can’t sound like that, can he? His jokes fall flat every time. He’s like the poor stand-up comic who should probably just call it quits because tomatoes are about to start flying but he just keeps going.
Overall Chariot is a big disappointment. It has some things going for it. An interesting game mechanic, a silly slapstick story, charming visuals, and it’s October 2014’s free game of the month for Xbox Live Gold members! But the puzzles are to brainless, the platforming is to slow and uninteresting, and the visuals never go beyond the average indie art style stigma. Even the crazy king’s undead jokes and his journey for riches and the perfect resting place can’t save Chariot from itself. Honestly some games are broken, some games are flawed, some games are unfinished, some games are designed poorly, and some are executed poorly. But no matter what—games need to be fun. If a game is perfect in every way, but it’s not fun, then it has little to no purpose. Sometimes a game can be imperfect but still be a lot of fun. And In the end Chariot is just boring—to go along with its many other flaws—in the end Chariot is just not fun.
Xbox ONE [Reviewed], PS4, PS3, Vita, Xbox 360, Wii U/th>
Books can tell incredible stories with brilliant writing that take the reader to other worlds. Movies can show the viewers those worlds in ways they couldn’t have imagined. Music can make the listener feel those worlds in unexplainable ways. Video games may be the only medium that can do all of these things in one. And with the ability to experience and move in those worlds, video games can also make you live those worlds like nothing else can. Child of Light is a living breathing fairy-tale book, with art and beauty that the makes the big screen jealous, and music and ambiance that would make the orchestrators of old truly proud.
Child of Light is an RPG developed by Ubisoft Montreal. It’s a 2D platforming adventure game that feels like a classic Japanese RPG. It’s also the first non Rayman game to use the incredible UbiArt Framework engine. Ubisoft has been on a roll lately. They’ve been able to continue franchises with success by reinventing them instead of just cashing in, like the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry series. They’ve also continued to introduce new innovative games like Watch_Dogs and The Division. And as of late, they’ve started to release small scale “indie-like” games using the UbiArt Framework. The diversity and quality of these games is wonderful. Far Cry 3 was an extremely successful game that had both critical and sales success. You’d think that Ubisoft would see that success and want to do nothing but roll out Far Cry games. But that’s not really the case. Instead, Ubisoft allows the creative director of Far Cry 3, Patrick Plourde, to completely switch shifts and create a wildly different and gorgeous game, Child of Light.
In Child of Light, you play as Aurora, a daughter of a Douches and Duke in Austria in 1895. Her mother passed away when Aurora was just a baby. Raised by her father alone, Aurora herself falls ill and dies in her sleep. When she wakes, she arrives in a new unknown world called Lemuria. Aurora has to find out where she is, why she has come here, and how to get back home. Along the way, she meets many new friends and foes and people in-between. She learns that the Queen of Light who once ruled the land has disappeared and the Black Queen has taken over. The sun, the moon, and the stars have been stolen and the land is swallowed by darkness. The real beauty of the story of the game is the writing. The entire game is written in rhyme. The plot and the communication between the characters are read like a poem. The rhyme is most in the style of A, B, C, B. But other styles are used as well. It’s beautiful and unlike any story I’ve experienced in a game before. Only a few times did the rhymes feel like a stretch; for the most part, it sounds just like a classic piece of poetry. Each character has so much personality and even the way they speak and rhyme feels unique to their own. There’s a firefly named Igniculus, who becomes Aurora’s best friend. There’s a coward dwarf named Finn and an in-love mouse named Robert. There’s a happy jester named Rubella and her depressed jester brother Tristis. Each of these and more are characters that join you in your party. There are also plenty of non-playable characters that play important roles in developing the story. It’s a storybook plot told in a powerful way. There are twists and turns that feel right in place in the fantastical world. Everything about the story of Child of Light feels like a perfect fit.
The gameplay in Child of Light is personality my favorite battle system in any RPG I’ve ever played. Before you enter into a battle, you traverse Lemuria as a 2D platformer. There are a few puzzle type elements but they are really just roadblocks that last a few seconds before you learn how to bypass them. Enemies are scattered throughout, if they see you and hit you, you enter battle mode with the enemy getting the first hit. And if you hit the enemy from behind first, you enter the battle with the advantage. Your first friend you find is Igniculus, he helps in battle in a completely different way than the other party members. You can highlight enemies with Igniculus and hold them to slow down their attack. The battle system draws comparisons to the Active Time Battle system from Grandia, an RPG that Ubisoft published at one point. It’s a mix of turn based fighting and engaging action. On the bottom of the screen, there is a meter that has each player from your party and the enemies. Each one moves down the bar until they reach the attack section, which is where you can select your move. Some moves are quick; some are more powerful but take longer. Some attacks can slow down the enemy, some poison them, etc, typical RPG stuff. But the reason the “typical” RPG stuff feels anything but typical in Child of Light is that speed, being frozen, and slowing down completely changes the battle. If you hit an enemy while they are in the “attack” section you can push them back further. I’ve had plenty of matches where the combination of slowing the enemies down and hitting them at the perfect timing resulted in them never even being able to get a single attack off. But at the same time, the difficulty level can still be intense and is at a perfect point. I lost battles, I won battles, but I never felt ripped off by cheap difficulty.
You can also switch out your party at any point and have up to three members battling at once. Each character feels very unique. Some focus on power while others focus on magic. Some characters don’t have many attack moves but they can heal teammates or speed up moves for the group. Rearranging the team and completely changing the strategy is a huge part of the fun and challenge of the game. Enemies have weaknesses, like physical or magic moves and lightning or fire moves. You can find and place gems to give to the party members to change and improve the statistics of each character. You can do things like give them more defense or change the attacks to lightning. Each character also has his/her own skill tree. You can choose which abilities and move sets to unlock and improve on; which gives, even more, freedom for expression in your favorite play style and strategy.
Let me take a moment now to try to explain how absolutely incredible the art and music and game feel Child of Light possesses. Using the incredible UbiArt Framework, Child of Light is a visually stunning game. It uses a water color art style that looks like it’s ripped right out of a beautiful centuries old fairy tale book. The game is bursting with life and personality. The brilliant art style perfectly coincides with the story, characters, and poetry of the game. The backdrops and backgrounds of each level and battle look like a painting, a true work of art that would be found hanging in museums across Europe. Each character and enemy is given so much detail. The music in Child of Light is a masterpiece. Fully orchestrated piano, violin, drums, trumpets and more give the game a sensation unlike anything I’ve played before.
I talk about “game feel” from time to time. Game feel is a combination of art, music, storytelling, game play and pure magic that some games have that allow for this unexplainable feeling that allows the gamer to completely be immersed in the world. Bioshock creepiness nails this. The Last of Us is brilliant with this. Wind Waker’s charm and beauty do this amazingly. Super Metroid’s eeriness does this. The game “Journey” is another example. Imagine the developer creating an idea, feel, and an emotion for the world of the game. Imagine the developer making every single game choice to correspond with this idea. From music and art to gameplay and even how the pause screen looks. Literally, every aspect of the game is there for a reason and is done with pure excellence. Game feel is sort of when all of this is done in just the right way, with true purpose and distinction, so the gamer really feels the game in unparalleled ways. Far and away Child of Light is the most emotionally powerful game I’ve played in years. There’s no easy way to rate the “game feel” of a game. Some games have it and some don’t. More specifically, most games don’t have it. There are good games out there that just don’t have that game feel, and they end up being good games and nothing else. Then there are good games out there that have incredible game feel that pushes the game to new heights. But the best games of all time are great games by themselves, and then they throw in this incomprehensible immersion that completely takes over and allows the gamer to truly live out these games. Child of Light is one of the best “game feel” game I’ve ever played. The music, the art, the storytelling, the writing, the poetry, the emotion, the love and care and charm and character that Child of Light is bursting with is something that I cannot express enough. There’s a subtle innocence to Child of Light that is something truly unique and truly beautiful.
Child of Light is my favorite game on the Xbox One and my favorite game in years. If I made a list now of my favorite games of all time, Child of Light might crack my top ten. Based on the emotion, storytelling, characters, art, and music alone it would be an incredible game. Throw in an amazing battle system, great progression, perfect pacing, and pure fun and you have yourself a game that is unlike anything the entertainment world has ever seen. In fact, Child of Light is unlike anything the world of art has ever seen before, and that’s saying a lot. The absolute only complaint for some is the length. It will take around 10-12 hours to beat, but that’s without exploring and collecting everything in the world. I didn’t have a problem with the length at all, for just $15 and for the type of experience given, it’s the perfect length. If you haven’t played Child of Light, please show Ubisoft some support for making games like this. Buy the game, play the game, fall in love with the game and fall in love with the reason why video games can provide us something that nothing else can.
1) Unique storytelling in gaming with fairy-tale and rhyme
2) Amazing, deep, and fun battle system
3) Beautiful art and incredible music
4) Unparalleled “Game Feel” CONS:
1) On the short side when compared to JRPG style games
Video games are a beautiful hobby. They can take us to other worlds, allow us to do things we can only dream of, tell us deep emotional brilliant stories, and they are just plain fun. My first video game was Super Mario Bros on the NES when I was just four years old. Although the Super Nintendo was out for a few years by then, my family was stuck with the NES. But that was a great thing because it allowed me to grow up on the 8-bit classics. I’m an early 90’s kid so my first console could have just as easily been a Nintendo 64. Mario and Duck Hunt quickly took over as my absolute favorite thing to do when I wasn’t eating peanut butter and jelly, watching Batman the Animated Series, and pretending I was all twenty-two players on an NFL field at once. Fast forward twenty years and gaming is still my definitive go-to diversion from the real world. Whether it’s playing Child of Light till the morning light is literally shining through my windows or being deeply interested and invested in the stories and advancements of our great medium or constantly checking on the smash bros website to see if any new characters have been revealed; I am always living and breathing video games. Every year around the same time I am baffled, perplexed, and downright annoyed by something that we gamers have to deal with. Summers… Why is it that there’s such a huge chunk of the year where there’s so little to play? There’s an epidemic on our hands and I think it’s time the industry takes a closer look at this and notices that there’s huge money being lost and wonderful opportunity for games to flourish this time of the year.
There’s no doubt that there’s less games to play during these scorching hot summer days
To clarify, I consider June, July, and August to be the real summer. Yes, summer doesn’t start until the 21st of June, but for the most part, these three months are what we regard as the actual summer. Most of us don’t think of September 15th to still be summer for example (even though the calendar would argue otherwise). For the sake of this article, and for what the entertainment industry in general considers, let’s simplify June, July, and August to be the legitimate summer. Now I don’t for a second want to say that there is nothing at all to play during the summers. There are certainly some games that launch each year. This summer we had games like Shovel Knight, Sniper Elite III, and The Last of Us Remastered. But the quality and quantity is definitely not on the same page as the other nine months. Much of what gets launched during the summer are games that we may end up playing only because it’s the only thing available. Transformers, One Piece, Worms Battlegrounds, Murdered: Soul Suspect, and Sacred 3 are some of the lackluster games that many of us ended up playing just because there wasn’t much else. The aforementioned The Last of Us or the updated Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition are both ports of already released games (Metro Redux is another example of this). Even if these games are amazing, which they are, it’s telling that some of the best games to play this summer were re-makes. There are definitely some truly brand new and truly great games that came out this summer. Valiant Hearts and Shovel Knight are two of my favorite games of the year. But there’s no doubt that there are fewer games to play during these scorching hot summer days. Continue reading →
This just showed up in the store and I thought I’d post some quick thoughts. Will do some gameplay later tonight. Also something to note is Zen said each purchasable table would have 1 achievement for 10gs. So far all of these that I have seen are showing up as 0gs.
:: Main Game ::
25gs – Pathfinder – Complete a 6-way combo on Sorcerer’s Lair! (Single player only)
25gs – Stockpiler – Beat the tree being in it’s hurry up mode on the Sorcerer’s Lair table! (Single player only)
50gs – Sharpshooter – Take down the spiders in 20 seconds in the cellar on the Sorcerer’s Lair table! (Single player only)
100gs – Secrets of the Lair – Conclude the final mode: Midnight Madness on the Sorcerer’s Lair table! (Single player only)
50gs – Tower Conqueror – Score a jackpot in the Citadel multiball on the Sorcerer’s Lair table! (Single player only)
100gs – Gargoyle’s Quest – Score a super jackpot in the Gargoyle multiball on the Sorcerer’s Lair table! (Single player only)
100gs – Master of the Stairs – Complete the Stairway mode on the Sorcerer’s Lair table! (Single player only)
150gs – Afraid of no Ghosts – Complete the Sorcerer’s multiball on the Sorcerer’s Lair table! (Single player only)
200gs – Perfectionist – Complete all the main modes in a single game on the Sorcerer’s Lair table! (Single player only)
200gs – Obsidian Obsession – Collect all 13 obsidians on the Sorcerer’s Lair table! (Single player only) :: Marvel Civil War ::
0gs – Heroes Imprisioned – Break into the Prison and start the Ambush with Captain America on Civil War! (Single player only) :: Marvel Captain America ::
0gs – The Cosmic Cube – Use the Cosmic Cube to your advantage on Captain America! (Single player only) :: Marvel Fantastic Four ::
0gs – Doomsday – Lock 4 balls with Doctor Doom and start the Four-ball mode on Fantastic Four! (Single player only) :: Paranormal ::
0gs – Ghost Sightings – Get up to the attic of the Haunted Mansion and banish a ghost on Paranormal! (Single player only)
When you look at the price of a table you have you will see that it is changed to $0.00. Then go through the process like you would normally to buy something from the Store. It doesn’t just give you a option to import everything you already own, you need to navigate to each take and re-buy it for FREE. THEN you still have to click it again to let Xbox know that you actually want to install it.
FIRST 9 OR SO MINUTES OF SORCERER’S LAIR
If you want to see how it looks check out this quick video I made of my first 9 minutes of play. Sorry for how bad I suck.
With the addition of title update 5 Titanfall has added 3 new daily challenges to give XP, Black Market currency and possibly some burn cards. You can have up to 9 active at any time. We will try to keep this list updated so that you can look for things you might want to jump in and work on. The game will only give you new challenges if you have space for them. Meaning if you start a day with 8 challenges, you will only get 1 new one when you log in.
Haven Victor – 5gs – Win a match on Haven
Haven Connoissseur – 10gs – Play every game mode on Haven
Executioner – 20gs – Execute 2 titans in a single match on Haven
Overkill – 30gs – Kill 15 titans while you have a Titan Burncard active on Haven
Export Victor – 5gs – Win a match on Export
Export Connoissseur – 10gs – Play every game mode on Export
It’s a Trap! – 20gs – Kill an enemy with the trap on Export
Hidden Export – 30gs – Kill 25 enemies while cloaked on Export
Dig Site Victor – 5gs – Win a match on Dig Site
Dig Site Connoissseur – 10gs – Play every game mode on Dig Site
Dirt Nap – 20gs – Kill 12 Pilots in a single match on Dig Site
Gravesite – 35gs – Kill 50 Pilots on Dig Site
Can I say WOW. How completely and totally boring can you get. Dig Site is a 100% copy from the last set. This is just SAD. Once we get online we’ll do a few videos of the new maps and how to set off the “trap” on Export but this could easily be a 1 day completion on this DLC.
Yesterday afternoon EA announced a new service for the Xbox One called EA Access. This subscription service cost 5 dollars a month or 30 dollars a year. It gives the users free games, discounts on everything EA, and the ability to play games early. Instantly I was excited yet confused, happy yet cautious. There are always two crazy parts to every new video game related announcement. The rush of discovering the information while uncovering the mysteries and the hilarious yet obnoxious voices of the vocal minority of gamers.
I could hear the collective groans and ignorant complaints across the internet within seconds. Oh no, the gaming industry is nickel and diming us yet again. It costs money so it must be bad! It’s making things free so it must be bad! It gives me discounts on games and DLC so it must be bad! EA is the worst company in America! Well, not any more, after winning (or losing) two years in a row for the WCIA (Worst Company in America), Comcast dethroned EA in 2014. The comical thing about this competition is that most of the companies in the running aren’t even “bad”. They are just successful. McDonalds, Chase, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Time Warner—one could argue that some of these companies have downsides, but you won’t hear apologies from them for thriving and making money. So is EA bad news? Are they just ripping us off? Well let’s dive into the features of the service and find out.
RYSE (950/1000): Finished Legendary. Really loved this game. I think some of the random battles with different enemy types all coming at once was a LOT harder than any of the boss battles. Never failed a boss battle on Legendary. Several sections I had to do a few time of just random guys. All that is left is the grind to level 100. Hope the DLC is fun and engaging as I will have no problem coming back to this. I am level 20 online and I am shooting for 5 levels a day. That puts me complete with Ryse on 12/18. We’ll see if I make that or not.
NEED FOR SPEED: RIVALS (500/1000): I like this game. Fast paced, great graphics. The main issue is the peer servers. Some of the harder challenges can take 20+ minutes to complete and then for a host migration to just destroy all the work is a real pain. It also seems that Racers have it pretty hard. Any time I get anywhere near some good money (100,000+) I get rape swarmed by 10 AI cops driving twice as fast as me with high end tech. Gets frustrating.
POWERSTAR GOLF (635/1000): Getting gear in this game is a GRIND. You get money for getting medals in a match, but once you get it, it’s gone. One time deal. The base money for finishing a challenge is around 800. It takes 60,000 to get the good pack of gear (Extreme) and half of what you get is WORTHLESS. Leveling keeps on going after 50 (The last event and achievement that is level based) but has NO reward. Why not 500 or 1000 credits for these levels? It’s a fun challenging game but it already feels like I spend a day now to get almost no where.
FORZA 5 (105/1000): Realistic racing is just not my thing. This is a real grind for me. Play against easy AI to just get races done. It looks great but for me, it’s pretty boring.
STILL TO EVEN START:
Dead Rising 3 & SWAP Force. Both look enjoyable. I’ll probably start DR3 once I get Ryse done.