Just Us: Co-Op Survival Game

I saw this trailer today and I just had to share. It's like they took all of the sandbox/survival things I love -- at least in theory -- and put…

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We tried Warhammer Vermintide

Steam had a free weekend for Warhammer Vermintide, so Graev and I gave it a shot. Turned out to be a lot of fun! Vermintide is like Left 4 Dead…

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Ragnarok Odyssey Ace & Pushing Keen out of his gaming comfort zone

ragnarok-odyssey-aceGaming for us may have mostly taken off with PC games but prior to that we did invest a good deal of time playing stuff like our Master System, Super Nintendo, and later on the N64 and PS2. We used to play all kinds of different stuff together but over the years he has withdrawn into a near impenetrable shell that doesn’t have much room for anything other than MMOs and a few other games. Getting him to even try other types of games can be incredibly difficult.

For years I’ve been trying to get him to play a Monster Hunter game with me but that hasn’t had much success at all. I think I might have mentioned a while back that the first attempt saw my PSP thrown to the ground in frustration. Anywho, a while back I discovered another game in the “Hunting Genre” called Ragnarok Odyssey Ace. From what I could tell it was the updated version of the game like Ultimate was for Tri. I picked it up for my Vita and after playing it for a short while I figured that I might be able to get him to try playing this with me.

Monster Hunter may not have drawn him in initially, but Ragnarok looked like it might do it. Bright colors, Norse-ish theme, wizards, etc. Plus the combat seems more approachable than Monstrer Hunter. If I couldn’t get him to try this out then there was really no hope. After a lot of complaining, guilt-tripping, extortion, and pestering I was finally able to convince him to play it with me. We downloaded the PS3 version of the game (which can play with the Vita as well) and gave it a go. (more…)

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Super Mario 3D World

super-mario-3d-worldKeen and I have been playing the new Mario game off and on since it came out and whenever we can find the time. The short of it is that we both really love the game and we think it’s great and all that. I’m sure anybody that comes across our site knows about Mario games and how they work so I’m not going to bother going into that and rather I’m just going to highlight some of the things we like and don’t like.

The Gameplay

3D World’s platforming mechanics are great. The game is kind of a blend between classic side scrolling games and the newer 3D games. Several of Mario’s signature moves are available like the long jump, backflip, side flip, wall jump, roll, etc. The only things that I really find missing is the triple jump and the ability to grab onto ledges. That last point might kind of defeat the purpose of this kind of game, though, since it’s more about getting through a platforming level rather than exploring one. It all seems to control very well, though, and for the most part any time you die is going to be directly tied to your competency level and not the fault of the game.

There are four playable characters initially: Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach. Each character actually controls fairly differently, too. Mario generally seems to have the best handling, Luigi can jump higher, Toad is faster, and Peach can float a bit mid-air. Pretty much the same kind of stuff you might remember from SMB2. Unfortunately, Yoshis don’t seem to have made it into the game, which is a bit of a bummer. There is an additional unlockable character but I won’t spoil that in case some people get bothered by that kind of thing. (more…)

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Rayman Legends

Keen and I picked up Rayman Legends a few days ago — it’s crazy fun! Usually Keen is pretty awful at console games but he is, surprisingly, not so bad at this. He’s actually getting better over time. Who knew? Anyhow… just dropping by to throw out some thoughts about the game.

rayman legendsSo Pretty…

This game looks nuts. I don’t think too many games use the hand-drawn graphics style these days but it looks fantastic and runs totally smooth. We’re playing on the Wii U version, arguably the definitive version, and it looks great. I can’t imagine the visuals being any different on the other systems, though. The game isn’t quite as nice looking on gamepad-only play but it’s still good. It’s unfortunate that there’s no online multiplayer, though, ’cause I’d love to see how the game runs with 5 people playing at once.

I Bet There’s A Secret In That Bottomless Pit

Running through levels together is a blast and looking for all the collectables is actually something we’re doing together. Usually Keen can’t be bothered to collect everything or doesn’t have an interest but there have been several instances where he says “Let’s replay that level I think I can get them all”. Playing co-op is great because usually I’ll be the first person to run off an edge or into a hazard in search of hidden stuff and I have the fortune of having the more cautious player to reel me back in.

So far from what I can tell the game mechanics are the same. You run, jump, slide, etc. We haven’t unlocked any new abilities yet, if they even exist. Even so it’s an incredibly fun game and the levels are really well done. Especially if you love trying to speed through them. We actually really love the music-themed levels. As you run through, all of your actions (i.e. jumping, sliding, hitting) are timed to the music and beat. It’s really thrilling and we find ourselves humming the tunes even when we’re not playing. (more…)

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Spelunky

Spelunky, now synonymous with a dozen expletives in our house, released for XBLA last week.  It's an addicting platformer with randomly generated levels, monsters, traps, and a ton of freedom…

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