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12May/100

Pinky vs Blocks

xboxboxart Pinky vs Blocks is best described as Tetris meets platformer. Shaped blocks fall from above and you must make them fit in empty spots to create lines, like in Tetris. While at the same time you must rescue a creature named Pinky who is trapped in jail.

Pinky uses his super powers to aid in his escape, which allows him to control the position and rotation of the blocks. The blocks don’t want Pinky to escape so they are doing everything in their power to stop him from escaping. There are 60 levels between Pinky and the jail exit. Another similarity between Pinky & Tetris they both require a certain amount of lines before you are able to move on.

In Pinky’s case completing a certain number of lines opens the door to the next room, but you can only get to the door if you have created a path to the exit for Pinky.

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11May/101

Xbox Live Indie Game Review : Retrofit - Overload

xboxboxart I love me some old school shooters … Galaga, Galaxian, Space Invaders, Millipede, I play them today and have just as much fun as I did when I was a kid. I was a little skeptical of this when I first saw the videos for it, because there honestly isn’t a whole lot to see with this.

Think Galaga or Galaxian, only instead of being limited to moving left and right you can move your ship anywhere you want. That’s basically how this game plays, with the same antiquated single hit kills (though it does have a shield you can use so long as you have enough juice for it) that, while done right, are fine … though unnecessary in today’s games and only serves to suck the fun out of them when they’re not done right.

Surprisingly enough, and THANKFULLY enough … this isn’t yet another dual stick shooter which I found to be a relief as I’m really personally getting sick of seeing them.

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3May/101

Xbox Live Indie Game Review – Super Avatar Hero Force

xboxboxart This game is completely different from what I expected from the screenshots. I was expecting a Final Fight or Streets of Rage style brawler with avatar zombies, kittens and giant robots. Yes, those three. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that … it’s much much simpler than that. Not to say that’s a bad thing of course. This is made by UberGeekGames, who are fairly well known for making fairly simplistic games with an over-abundance of features in them that you would never expect to be there. Like online multiplayer Pong for example. Yes, you read that right. Online multiplayer PONG. But this isn’t about that (though you should try “A Game of Tennis”). This is about a weird little game where you beat the hell out of avatar zombies … though you never actually kill them because I don’t think Microsoft would like people killing off hundreds upon thousands of avatars. So you just knock them back, they go home, sleep it off and are fine in the morning.

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30Apr/100

Xbox Live Indie Game Trial Impresion for : HomeSlice & the Zombie Bunnies

xboxboxart First off … what the hell? Seriously. Zombie bunnies? The premise ALONE is right up my alley. This is just absurd. I LOVE the sense of humor behind this game, but alas this is going to be a relatively short one from me. This is a dual stick shooter but with added melee attacks that are assigned to either the face buttons (which, in all honesty, who the hell would use those in a game like this) or the triggers. Everything is from an isometric perspective though, giving it a somewhat unique look as there aren’t a whole lot of other games on the service that use that. The only other one that I can think of off the top of my head is the awesome Cyborg Mice Arena. But the game reminds me a LOT of the iPhone game MiniGore … which isn’t a bad thing at all. It has a great graphical presentation to it. The music is catchy, and the sound effects are pretty good … even though all you really hear is what sounds like someone smacking piano keys every time you kill an enemy.

But it does have it’s failings. There isn’t a story of ANY KIND. Not even anything ridiculous as the title would suggest. You just go in and kill zombie bunnies. That’s literally it. There’s only one area you fight in … and it’s not even all that big. And with the retarded one hit kills, you don’t really have room enough to move around like you do in MiniGore … so I died. A lot. Now, in all honesty I’m not that great at dual stick shooters … but I can make my way through a big chunk of Zombie Apocalypse without having to wrestle the zombies off of me. And when you DO die … you don’t get any kind of animation of the bunnies just swarming you and eating you alive … you just die and start over again. That’s it. The complete lack of sound effects kind of hurts it in the sense you don’t hear much of anything besides the piano smacking I mentioned before and the music. I would like to know what a zombie bunny sounds like damn it!

I can’t say whether or not this game is worth buying (even though it’s only 80 points) … it doesn’t seem finished. It seems like it COULD evolve into a really fun game. But as it stands right now, it feels more like the starting off point to an ACTUAL game. I absolutely ADORE the cheesiness behind this game, but they just didn’t go far enough with it. But you should definitely at least give the game a try purely for the novelty. And there may very well be more to the full game, I don’t know seeing as how I’ve only played the trial. If you do buy this and like it (or dislike it) by all means leave a comment.

screen4_Web screen1_Web screen2_Web screen3_Web

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27Apr/100

An initial impression of “Breath of Death VII : The Beginning” for the Xbox 360

xboxboxart The reason I’m writing THIS instead of a full out review is because I’m kind of stuck in a part of the game and kind of need to start over again. Although that’s not a bad thing against the game, it’s more my inability to play RPGs … I have only played two RPGs to completion my entire life and those are the original Dragon Warrior for the NES and Super Mario RPG. Why have I only finished that many? Because I don’t typically like RPGs that much. They’re entirely too long and too repetitive. I don’t like all the little subtleties in them and I hate grinding with a passion.

Unfortunately, this game seems to require some grinding because the place I’m at in the game my entire party can just BARELY make it through the REGULAR battles in this particular dungeon … let along stand a snowball’s chance in hell against the boss of this area. So I have elected to grind the hell out of the overworld before I really start on any of the actual story points, which you don’t have to worry about my spoiling … because it DOES have a story that I’m not even going to get into here. From what I can tell so far, it’s not going to win any awards, but it has made me laugh a few times which is always a good thing because there aren’t many games that LITERALLY make me laugh storywise.

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16Apr/100

Tunescape

Fly through a colorful, music-driven environment and try to collect the Tune Fragments as a neon colored circle. Your goal is to consume as many color fragments of various sizes as you can before the song ends, once the song ends the level is over. The rate at which they are dispersed is time with the beat of the music theme for each stage. There are 3 power ups you gain by collecting more of a certain color of fragments. If you collect enough of the fragments you then gain a power up: green fragments give you a speed boost, blue fragments give you a gravity pulse which pulls the fragments towards you, yellow fragments give you a shield. The fourth power up is a orange star which is a score multiplier. But beware of the red meteors hit one of those will cause you to lose a star. Also make sure to watch out for black holes which can suck you in. You can play solo or multiplayer with the songs provided with the game or you choose to use a song from your own music library. There are 8 stages, you start out with 2 stages, to unlock more you must obtain a high enough score to earn the diamonds. There are 3 diamonds for each level, which are kind of like bronze, silver and gold tiers of the game. If you score 2500 points you get 1 diamond, if you score 7500 you get 2 diamonds, and if you score 1200 points you get 3 diamonds. You can play any stage with a maximum of 4 players either cooperatively or competitively. The graphics are simple and colorful, which works perfectly with the basis of this game. The price for Tunescape is 80 Microsoft points ($1) which it is well worth.

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30Mar/109

XBLIG Review – Pew Pew Pod

xboxboxart (1) Yet another dual stick space shooter in the indie games. And guess what it’s styled after. Yeah … I’m not even going to type the name of the game here because I personally think it’s an overhyped mess. But regardless of that, despite the stupid name of “Pew Pew Pod” it is well done and does a good job of setting itself apart from the other better known shooter of this ilk. Barely.

This is another one of those reviews where I’m going to attempt to review it as objectively as I can, because personally, I despise the game and will never play it again. But that’s not because the game is bad. I’m just sick of dual stick shooters in space. I got sick of them a LONG time ago, and it boggles my mind that people keep making them. But unfortunately, people keep playing them so there’s going to be about a thousand more.

So with that being said, and probably causing the developers to think to themselves “Oh God …” let’s get this show on the road.

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29Mar/100

XBLIG Review – Spiders! Why did it have to be spiders?

xboxboxart (1) Do you really hate spiders. I mean, REALLY hate spiders. Not creeped out by them like you’re doing to run screaming every time you see even a Daddy Long Legs … I mean hate them to the point that you want to kill every last one of them until the Earth is devoid of the damn things. Where they’re in hiding below the ground to avoid the wrath of your boot to eventually mutate and evolve under there and kill us all. Then this game is for you, because that what you’re going to be doing. Killing spiders. Lots of them. With a machine gun. Only these spiders are as big as you are and can kill you within a few seconds. This game plays out a little bit like an overhead version of a previous Xbox indie game called Jonny Crush, just without the variety in enemies, weapons, environments and polygons. Not to say that’s a BAD thing of course. Spiders! has all the basic elements needed to be a good top down, dual stick shooter. And isn’t a bad game per-say, it just doesn’t go beyond those basic elements to make something special.

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25Mar/100

Pixel Whirled released for the Xbox 360 Indie Games.

Now, mind you, seeing as how I have to be at work in about 10 minutes I obviously haven’t played the game. I just wanted to put the trailer up and say something about it because I love old school styled games, provided they’re done right. And two, this is the single most retarded trailer I’ve ever seen for any game. And that alone makes me want to play it, so that’s what I’ll be doing as soon as I get home later.

In the meantime, here are some screenshots.

screen1_Web screen2_Web screen3_Web screen4_Web

And, for the record, I love how bored the little girl looked playing the modern first person shooter. Classic. That’s how I feel with most of them that I play. And yes, that includes Modern Warfare.

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23Mar/100

Upcoming XBLIG – Tokyo 2029 A.D.

Apparently it’s a “fast paced gory 4 player fighter” that’s coming out for the 360 in the Indie Games for 80 MS Space Bucks. Of course, I’m going to personally reserve judgment until I actually play it. And hope there is Xbox Live support. But judging from the unfortunate trend of XBLIG developers thinking it’s not important, I’m not getting my hopes up all that high.

But hey, we’ll see. Check out the trailer above.

It kind of reminds me of the old arcade game (later ported to the Genesis) “Time Killers” … which isn’t exactly a bad thing because I actually kind of like that game.

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