Zero Escape: The Nonary Games (PSV)
Adventure Thursday, 30 March 2017
A compilation of remastered editions of two adventure games developed by Spike Chunsoft - a Japanese studio. The Nonary Games includes 2009's 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward - a game which came out three years later. Since the plots of the two games are strongly connected, it is recommended to play through them in chronological order. Both games offer a gameplay formula based on two branches - the story-based sequences typical for visual novel as a genre, and the adventure-like sections played from first-person view. During the sequences of the first kind, the player follows the developments in the story and makes different choices from time to time; the other segment of gameplay requires the player to solve puzzles. Compared to their original releases, the games contained within this compilation come with improved visuals. Additionally, 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors was enriched with professional voice acting (both in English and Japanese).
Salt and Sanctuary (PSV)
RPG tomorrow, 28 March 2017
A dark 2D platformer with RPG elements, developed by the team of Ska Studios, known for its original and equally brutal productions The Dishwasher and Charlie Murder. In Salt and Sanctuary we take on the form of a pirate whose ship crashes near a mysterious island inhabited by hordes of drowned and their powerful masters. By eliminating hordes of enemies and bosses the protagonist gradually discovers the secrets of the island, and thanks to the raw materials he acquires, such as gold and salt, develops his equipment and skills when visiting safe enclaves (titular sanctuaries). The hero has a considerable range of weapons and magic skills at his disposal, and the key element is the proper selection, because too much unnecessary equipment negatively affects the protagonist's mobility and special abilities. The game features an extremely gloomy atmosphere and hand-drawn artwork, typical for the studio's early productions.
Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court (PSV)
RPG 30 April 2017
The first expansion for the 2016 dungeon crawler RPG Darkest Dungeon by Red Hook Studios. The add-on utilizes the gameplay mechanics from the core game — you complete a team of heroes and set out to explore the eponymous Darkest Dungeon. Your goal is to find enormous riches, with which you can expand a shabby hamlet, also serving as your base. Like in the original Darkest Dungeon game, the characters of The Crimson Court suffer from typical human ailments — some of them may go berserk, while others may panic when surrounded by darkness. The game places a strong focus on blood, which is a theme connecting the items you find and your enemies. The expansion also marks the first appearance of vampires, creatures with a unique set of characteristics and abilities.
Regalia: Of Men And Monarchs (PSV)
A turn-based RPG focusing strongly on strategic aspects and created by Pixelated Milk - a Polish developer. The player is taken to a peaceful fantasy world and assumes the role of Kay Loren - a young nobleman whose father reveals on his deathbed the existence of a distant land belonging to their family. Once the protagonist arrives in the place, it turns out that the entire land is ruined and the family was charged with a large debt. Kay decides to restore the ruined city to its magnificent state and take back the neighboring areas from the wildlife occupying them. The player's tasks are to construct buildings, gather resources, develop technologies and manage the land appropriately, so it can generate adequate amounts of money. Exploration, completing quests given by NPCs and turn-based combat are all of high importance here. The protagonist can be accompanied by four other characters with unique abilities, which can be developed alongside progression.
Mary Skelter: Nightmares (PSV)
RPG 30 April 2017
Co-developed by Compile Heart and Idea Factory, a classic dungeon crawler with a turn-based combat system. The action of Mary Skelter: Nightmares is set in a fantasy world in which most of the humans are imprisoned in a humongous prison guarded by dangerous creatures. When the main hero and his friend are set free by a mysterious organization, they find out that they received supernatural powers. Together with new allies, they set out on a perilous journey in order to find a way out and to learn how to defeat the guards. In the game, you move around tiled undergrounds, observe the action from the first-person perspective, and fight turn-based battles. Interestingly, the main hero stays out of the battlefield and only supports his allies with superpowers. There are five characters involved in fighting - each can belong to more than one character class and have unique special abilities and attacks.
An isometric adventure game that is a debut title of an independent studio VisionTrick Media. Pavilion is described as a fourth-person perspective game. This means that the player doesn’t have any direct control over the hero. Instead, the player assumes the role of the being that looks after the protagonist, influencing his movements through manipulation of environment and his senses. The story of Pavilion takes place in an oneiric world, which often surprises with its rules. The real and fantasy elements entwine, while the player has to help the protagonist in discovering the secret behind the place. In order to reach his goal, the game allows the player to manipulate items, sounds, lights, and other factors that may influence the way in which our hero looks at the world around him. These tools are used to shape the behavior of our protagonist, as a result forcing him to do certain actions. The visuals of Pavilion are a result of connecting photos, drawings, and computer-generated elements, creating an original, eye-catching combination.
Minecraft: Story Mode - A Telltale Games Series (PSV)
Adventure July 2017
An episodic adventure game created by Telltale Games, the experts of the genre, in cooperation with Mojang Ab, The game is set in the cult universe of Minecraft, whose world stands on the brink of destruction, and the only chance of saving it is a legendary brotherhood, known as the Order of the Stone. You play as a character named Jesse, who, together with his friends, sets off on a perilous journey to find the Order and save the world. The title is modeled after other productions from the studio, consisting of 5 separate episodes, throughout which you have to make tough choices that shape the story. What puts this game apart from other Telltale Games titles is the graphics, far from their traditional comic stylistics. Instead, the game features distinctive voxel-art graphics, which means both the environment and characters look like made of big square blocks.
A free-to-play two-dimensional platform fighting game from the independent studio Blue Mammoth Games – the creators of a browser MMO game Dungeon Blitz. The production combines elements of 2D fighting games and platformers. Gameplay comes down to engaging in combat on multi-level maps. The fighting system is purely arcade, so what really matters is speed, strength, mastery of combos, and the skillful use of individual abilities of particular characters. The game features dozens of fighters from different epochs and genres – knights, pirates, and even aliens. Each character has a different story and fighting style. Brawhalla features both a single player campaign and multiplayer for up to 8 players. Even though the game utilizes old-school 2D graphics, backgrounds and characters are displayed in high definition.
A Rose in the Twilight (PSV)
Arcade May 2017
A 2D platform game by Japanese studio Nippon Ichi Software. The game's protagonist wakes up in a mysterious castle devoid of colors, and discovers that an unknown force froze the flow of time. She can, however, reverse those effects by using a thorn that has grown on her back. Fortunately, the protagonist is not alone — she is accompanied by a friendly giant, who is helping her escape the enormous fortress by lifting and throwing heavy objects. Although A Rose in the Twilight focuses on exploration and jumping on platforms, another key element of the game are logic puzzles. While the game is very difficult, each death gives you tips to avoid the same dangers in the future. The visuals are unique, utilizing colors only sparsely.
The Banner Saga (PSV)
Inspired by the Nordic mythology, a cRPG developed by the independent studio Stoic, whose members worked on, for example, Star Wars: The Old Republic. The action takes us to a world where fratricidal bloodshed between the gods led to chaos and wars. This is an "on the road" type of story, divided into two main plot branches, telling the stories of two Viking parties trying to escape from the threat posed by a mysterious, stone-like race called the Dredge, born as the result of gods’ experiments. Set in fantasy realities, the gameplay combines adventure and RPG elements with a turn-based combat system. With game's progress, your party gains experience and becomes more and more powerful. Also, the decisions you make will exert heavy influence on the plot. The game features amazing 2D graphics, employing art style similar to that of Walt Disney productions.
Arcade May 2017
A third-person view adventure game developed by Tequila Works studio from Spain, which successfully debuted in 2012 with a post-apocalyptic platformer Deadlight. You assume the role of a boy who is trying to escape a mysterious island that conceals a sinister past. During the course of the game you will solve numerous puzzles, using a magical artifact that allows you to manipulate the environment and time. The title, despite being an action game also includes many platformer elements. The hero travels through an open world, climbs craggy cliffs, and jumps over chasms. Apart from being skilled, you also have to be perceptive, as light, sound, and touch (thanks to the technology offered by PS Vita and DUALSHOCK 4) play a vital role in Rime. The game features a 3D environment, colorful visuals, and a comic book-like visual style.
An old school 2D platform game developed by independent Polish developer Tomasz Wac³awek. The story of the game was inspired by the cult movie Kill Bill directed by Quentin Tarantino. In the game the player assumes the role of a mysterious woman who intends to get rid of five influential owners of a corporation. In order to do it, the protagonist must get through series of heavily guarded locations while being equipped only with katana and a hook that allows her to climb on walls and attach herself to the ceilings. The key to success in the game is the ability to silently sneak up behind the backs of guards and cameras; a good plan and its perfect realization. The battles are played by marking targets and at any moment of the game the time can be stopped in order to plan the next move. The graphics of the game have retro style, similar to platform games released in eighties and nineties.
Shakedown Hawaii (PSV)
An old-school open-world action game and a sequel to Retro City Rampage developed by Vblank Entertainment. The action of Shakedown Hawaii takes place 30 years after the events presented in its predecessor. The protagonist has grown really old and got himself a large belly. Dramatic events forced him to take up arms once again and to rebuild his crime empire. The gameplay mechanics improve on the ideas from Retro City Rampage and bear a strong resemblance to the first installment of the cult-classic Grand Theft Auto. The action is observed from an aerial view when traversing the open city area on foot or by vehicles. While playing, we perform various primary and secondary quests, using a rich arsenal or firearms, and the gameplay is enriched with elements of economic simulation that lets us manage the protagonist’s business. The game is realized in retro style and features a large dose of absurd and undiscriminating humor.
Edge of Eternity (PSV)
A third person action-RPG combining the most important aspects of Japanese role-playing games with medieval atmosphere and elements of the steampunk subgenre. The game was created by Midgar - an independent French studio, mainly known for mobile apps. The action takes place in Heryon - a fantasy land whose inhabitants have come under the threat of an alien civilization capable of turning both humans and animals into metal monsters. The player assumes the role of a young farmer by the name of Daryon, who is willing to confront the danger. The story is set in three main locations, including a mercantile town, a citadel controlled by the authorities, and ruins of the old capital city. During the journey, the player encounters randomly generated monsters and mutants. The game offers a turn-based combat system enriched with several modern-day mechanics. For instance, the player can spy on the enemies, checking which one is going to take the next action; one can also combine their spells together for a more powerful effect. The creators paid a great deal of attention to the soundtrack, which was composed by Cedric Menendez and inspired by works of Nobuo Uematsu, Jeremy Soul and Hans Zimmer.
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (PSV)
Arcade 30 April 2017
Specter of Torment is a free DLC for the fan-favourite platform game Shovel Knight developed by Yacht Club Games. This time, we play as a new protagonist, the titular Specter. The expansion takes place before the events of the base game. In terms of gameplay, Specter of Torment is identical to the base game, combining the elements of a 2Dplatformer, RPG, and an action-adventure game. Once again, we observe the game from a side-scrolling perspective. We explore some new fantastic locations, solve simple environmental puzzles, and fight the enemies. However, Specter has a new move set and skill set at his disposal. Unlike his predecessor, he can climb on walls and other environmental objects, which opens new tactical possibilities for the players. The iconic shovel was replaced with a characteristic scythe.
Exogenesis: Perils of Rebirth (PSV)
An adventure game enriched by elements characteristic of visual novels. Exogenesis: Perils of Rebirth takes place in post-apocalyptic Japan. The player assumes the role of a member of a treasure hunter group, who searches for an ancient artifact that can resurrect his dead sister. To find the treasure, the protagonist has to gather a team of similar adventurers, and embark on the dangerous journey. The developers were mainly inspired by games such as Zero Escape or the Ace Attorney series. When it comes to story, the player follows an extensive text narration and from time to time has to choose from a few alternative approaches. These decisions push the plot towards one of several possible outcomes, with each having unique subplots and a separate ending. At the same time, Exogenesis: Perils of Rebirth is different from typical visual novels, offering adventure game sequences that require exploring locations and solving various logic riddles.
Night Cry (PSV)
Adventure September 2017
An action-adventure game stylistically inspired by Japanese horrors. The game was developed by Nude Maker studio in cooperation with many genre veterans, who have created such franchises as Clock Tower, Silent Hill, and the Ju-On movie series. Night Cry takes place on a passenger ship. A series of brutal murders that take place there scares the passengers and makes it impossible to continue the cruise. The player assumes the role of one of the surviving passengers - his task is to discover the identity of the killer. The gameplay mechanics of the game focus on adventure-related activities such as exploration, collecting items, conversations and solving riddles (some of which have a time limit). From time to time one can also encounter action sequences. However, the player's objective is not to fight, but to hide from the murdered and – in case of being discovered – escape.
A simplified space simulation game created by the independent studio Celsius Games. The action of this production takes place in a distant future, where humanity has developed enough to colonize other planetary systems. The player assumes the role of a spaceship captain, and decides what path will the protagonist take. We can deal in trade and mining or even choose the career of a bounty hunter, an interplanetary convoy guard, or a pirate. There is an entire galaxy that spans over 10 thousand light years and over 10 thousand planetary systems. Compared to other games in the genre, Drifter distinguishes itself with the presence of a plot. While playing, we can perform missions that are joined together by a coherent story that lets us learn the history of the universe. The title features decent three-dimensional graphics.