XENON VALKYRIE Review! PS Vita goodness on the go!

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Xenon Valkyrie tasks you with the challenge of stopping an evil witch who has horrible plans for the good people, aliens, and robots of your future land. In order to do so, you’ve got to take control of one of three valiant warriors: Renna, who has the power of a rechargeable shield, Nue, a high-jumping space reptile, or Eloen, a bomb-toting robo-vixen.

Overall, Xenon Valkyrie is a sure-win for both rogue-lite action lovers and run-and-gun platform aficionados. The plot is well-represented through the text and world, and comes in intriguing bites and nibbles, and the gameplay is solid with unique weapons and attractive graphics.

Check out pros, cons, and awesome screenshots at my full review on KeenGamer.com!

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SOULBLIGHT Preview! (Steam)

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Soulblight is developer My Next Games upcoming top-down fantasy sci-fi rogue-lite, and your next obsession! With unique skills like Gluttony, Cannibalism, and Cowardice, you’ll be able to craft your dungeon-crawling hero or villain to your liking. Add a unique combat mechanic and gorgeous hand-drawn graphics to the mix, and you’ve got a title dying to be on your wishlist!

We’re excited for Soulblight to hit Steam, as the unique atmosphere, combat, and Taint systems of the game earn the title a deserving spot in rogue-lite lover’s digital libraries. Hopefully developer My Next Games will perfect the minor tweaks needed in combat speed and camera zoom that will catapult the title from great to absolute must-have. Since they seem intent on perfecting the package prior to launch, hence the TBD release date, we can expect that these improvements are exactly what the team is working on, In other words, save your pennies, and make sure your Steam wallet is ready and able to snag this fun die-fest as soon as it launches–you’ll love each killing blow.

Check out my in-depth preview, with more screenshots at KeenGamer.com!

de Blob Review (PS4)!

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de Blob, the colorful platformer of revolution and a color-splattering ball named Blob, is back! Originally released to great acclaim late in the Wii’s life cycle, THQNordic has brought this family-friendly romp to this generation of consoles with updated textures and upscaled custcenes. Grab your controller, and get ready to fight the grey, boring man with a bevvy of graffiti talents!

Just as it was during it’s initial release, de Blob features charming cartoon-esque city-scapes and cute Rabbids-ish characters (minus the unnerving Rabbid faces), in addition to family-friendly gameplay and challenges that are sure to be right for young kids and veteran arcaders alike. The Jet Set Radio wall-clinging gameplay and funky design is wrapped around a 1984 non-conformist rebellion tale, and offers a lot more than most kid-friendly action titles. Combine all of these features, throw in fun multiplayer, and you’ve got a title that deserves the remaster (and maybe even a part 3?)

Check out my full review with more details and rockin’ screenshots at KeenGamer.Com!

BLUE REFLECTION Review! (PS4/Steam)

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Blue Reflection is developer GUST’s final entry into their “Beautiful Girls Festival” trilogy, and it deserves the title whole-heartedly! With gorgeous visuals, strategic turn-based combat, and an emotionally resonant story, this release from publisher Tecmo Koei deserves a spot on everyone JRPG lover’s shelf. Grab your controller, your box of cry-tissues, and brace yourself to defeat the invading Sephiroths, and dance again!

Check out my full review of this unique and awesome RPG at KeenGamer.com!

 

BUTCHER Review! (PS4/PC)

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In case you missed it, here’s my review on the BUTCHER game, currently on sale for 30% off on PSN from 8/1/17-8/15/17!

BUTCHER is a 2D love letter to 90’s low-res blood-splattered gameplay. DOOM-like textures? Check. Chainsaws and shotguns? Check. Hardcore difficulty to melt your face off? CHECK (this game out!)

BUTCHER, from Transhuman Designs (the folks who made the 2D building sidescroller King Arthur’s Gold,) is a fun romp through the guts of your human enemies the likes of which we have never seen . . . since 1995.

Inspired by the Id classics Quake and Doom, and taking gameplay cues from the Apogee classic Duke Nukem and Super Meat BoyBUTCHER throws the player into the role of a lone cyborg charged with eliminating the last stubborn remnants of humankind.

Grab your keyboard/mouse or gamepad (make sure they’re indestructible), and jump on the incredibly tough carnage-train to extinction town!

Check out my full review and get more screenshots at KeenGamer.com!

 

OPERATION ABYSS: NEW TOKYO LEGACY Review!

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Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is an excellent dungeon romp through a near-future sci-fi Tokyo.Finish that high-school class quick, so you can gear up and dive headlong into a quest for missing students that’ll lead you into fierce battle against bizarre enemies. Best of all, this dungeon-crawler won’t make you crunch more numbers than math class! (Unless you’re into that.)

For those unfamiliar with Wizardry games, especially their later Japanese-spawned entries, suffice it to say that they consist of first-person dungeon wandering through grid’ed environs, where players control a party of characters in turn-based combat and have a metric ton of stats, gear, and spells to play with. Operation Abyss contains all of those traits, but trades the more common sword and sorcery theme for a near-modern future filled with high-tech laboratories and medical facilities hidden beneath local high schools.

Where Wizardry games, and their recent ilk such as Stranger of Sword City, often lose people is in the complexity of their numbers’ systems. Players need to be aware of no less than two dozen stats and traits to fully utilize their party, and often the mere act of equipping a new sword can take minutes. The fun comes from eventually fine-tuning your crew into the ultimate monster-slaying heroes, but it can come at the price of playability. Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy skips this terrifying time-sink by using story progression as a way to spread out the introduction of new stats and systems. Certainly this is nothing new to the gaming world, but being able to plunk your way through a few dungeons before having to worry about crafting is a nice change of pace, and makes learning the complexities of the game engine a gradual pleasure, rather than a brick wall on the highway.

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is both fun and approachable, like the best guest at a party. It doesn’t bore you with convoluted ways to make your guacamole taste better, but you know it could if you asked for it. It’s as complicated as you want it to be, and a nice challenge no matter what.

Check out my full review on KeenGamer.com!

RAIN WORLD Review! PC / PS4

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Rain World is indie developer Videocult’s new survival platform title published by Adult Swim Games. Taking place in a world of deadly rainstorms and vicious carnivores, players take charge of a single lonely slugcat, who must evade and survive long enough to reunite with it’s family. Will you be able to get back to the safety of your home, or be pounded into oblivion by a torrent of crushing water?

It comes down to is this: Rain World is a gorgeous game with great storytelling and a very slow pace. It has some bits and pieces that are more in favor of art than fun–such as non-skip-able animations and a dreary color palette–but there’s still great gameplay and a huge amount of content for all that (over 60 hrs. on the first play-through!)

If you’re the kind that likes to sprinkle some art house movies in between binge-watching cartoons, then you ought to consider Rain World a must-have, a 10/10, an insta-buy. However, if you’re just looking for the average Mario-Meat Boy-Hedgehog experience, then consider that you’ll be getting a game more focused on careful planning than twitch reflexes. Consider also that you’ll be getting a beautiful story, though–for us, that’s worth it.

Check out my full review with more screenshots at KeenGamer.com!

TOUHOU GENSO WANDERER Review! – PS4

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Touhou Genso Wanderer is the first Touhou rogue-like to come to the west, as well as a rare chance for PS4 owners to experience a traditional Japanese rogue-like. With fun characters, charming graphics, and a MASSIVE quantity of randomly crafted loot, Genso Wanderer will steal your life. Grab your controller, silence your phone, and put on your anime-watchin’ Snuggy for this rocking randomized experience!

Touhou Genso Wanderer is a fangame made by indie developer Aqua Style, which takes place in the famed Touhou Project universe. If you’re unfamiliar with Touhou Project, check out my review of Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet, which gives the lowdown on the series.

Gameplay for this entry is primarily top-down, turn-based exploration and combat through a series of floors (essentially dungeon crawling). Each floor is made up of a series of randomly generated rooms, and when the player either moves or takes an action (uses an item, ability, etc.), all enemies on the board also take an action. While this is traditional fare for Japanese rogue-likes, there are lots of extras that Aqua Style has thrown into the mix that spice things up and improve accessibility. As far as accessibility, there are a plethora of simple controls that make dungeon crawling easy-peasy. With loads of traps, enemy types, cute characters, and loot, loot, loot, Genso Wanderer has it going on.

If you’ve never played a traditional Japanese-style rogue-like, and the idea sounds even remotely interesting to you, then you owe it to yourself to give Touhou Genso Wanderer a spin. It offers one of the most accessible rogue-like experiences available, and succeeds in doing so without sacrificing the content or sheer fun of the randomized dungeon-looting experience.

Read my full review with more screenshots at KeenGamer.com!