Tagged "Absolver"

Jan 09
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

A month of remakes, remasters and re-releases is upon us. No less than three launch this week including Hitman HD Enhanced Collection, officially announced just days ago.

This digital-only collection brings together Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman: Absolution, running in 4k/60fps and boasting improved lighting, updated controls and upgraded textures. While this may sound rather enticing, there’s a slight sting in the tale – it’s an eyebrow-raising £44.99.

Bear in mind here that both games are Xbox One BC and available for just a few quid each pre-owned. Absolution was also far from being a franchise high note, feeling more like a generic cover-based shooter than a Hitman game. A package for hardcore fans only, perhaps.

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is launching for around £35, a price that’s easier to justify due to the wealth of new content. In addition to two new characters, it also features new music tracks and an expanded story. Reviews are starting to surface, mostly clocking in at 8/10. Time has been kind to this 10 year old JRPG, it seems.

Then we have New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Switch, which combines the Wii U launch title with New Super Luigi U. These two a knocking on a bit, but there’s no denying there’s a lot of platforming fun for your bucks – 164 courses in total. We’ve rounded up scores below, and will take another look during our weekly eShop round-up.

Incidentally, we’ve also rounded up scores for Legendary Eleven on Xbox One, a retro football game that first launched on Switch. It was one of last week’s few new releases.

Absolver makes the jump from PS4 to Xbox One meanwhile, available via Game Pass. It has a similar structure to Dark Souls – with a looping open game world, aggressive AI, and NPC’s that provide lore – it but plays completely differently due to the melee combat-based fighting system.

The main quest only takes 5-6 hours to finish. And then? Then the ‘real’ game begins, with more features and modes open up, as well as high-level PvP. We chalked up a few impressions late last year.

Also of note is Void Vikings on Xbox One, a 2.5D space shooter that entails paying off your student loan, of all things. Let’s hope it’s more accessible than last month’s Final Star.

New release showcase:

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

Reviews:
9.0 – EGM: “If you’re a Switch owner who leapfrogged the Wii U like I did, then New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a no-brainer. It isn’t as revolutionary as its predecessors, but it’s about as polished and expertly executed as a 2D platformer can get, and the inclusion of New Super Luigi U makes this as valuable a package as pretty much any you’ll find on the Switch”

8.5 – GameInformer: “While I’m disappointed that this release doesn’t include more additions to the original package, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is still a great game at its core”

7/10 – GameSpot: “While it can feel a bit stale for those who have been round the Mushroom Kingdom one too many times before, Deluxe is well worth playing, especially if you didn’t get a chance to play NSMBU on Wii U”

Legendary Eleven

Reviews:
6/10 – Xbox Tavern: “If you’re looking for accessible arcade fun, Legendary Eleven isn’t really a bad choice. The game’s field of play and its fairly robust features remain well set for the most part, allowing even newcomers to sink right in and score some outlandish, memorable feats”

3/5 – The Xbox Hub: “It’s not realistic, it’s not a world beater in terms of gameplay or likenesses of your favourite players, and it’s not going to challenge FIFA on any level, but as a bit of short-term fun, Legendary Eleven has put a smile on my face”

3/5 – VideoChums: “Even though Legendary Eleven is essentially a very basic take on soccer, its gameplay is easy to pick up and play and the visuals on display will be appealing for those looking for an arcade-style soccer game”

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Sep 18
By Matt Gander In Most Played No Comments

For the record, I don’t blame anyone. Describing Devolver Digital’s Absolver as ‘an online fighting game’ is perfectly acceptable. It has a combat system that entails both close-encounters fisticuffs and sword fighting, complete with a fully customisable move roster, and it features 1v1 online battles in small arenas. Absolver is definitely a fighting game.

Only, it isn’t. Not a typical one, anyway. It’s a bit like saying Shenmue is a fighting game because it features beat’em up style mechanics during combat, when in fact the majority of time is spent running up and down streets and alleyways while stopping strangers to ask inane questions.

While I was aware of Absolver’s existence long before it was a PS Plus freebie, the fact that critics described it as an online brawler stopped me from giving it more than a cursory glance. Western developed beat’em ups tend to fall short when compared to those developed in Japan, often lacking in subtle nuances and favouring boldness and brashness. The online focus was also a cause for concern. No offline play? No sale.

You can imagine my surprise, then, to find that Absolver has more in common with Dark Souls than a typical beat’em up. It shares the same looping open-world structure, the AI behaves in a similarly aggressive manner, and all lore is provided by NPCs who speak in cryptic tongues. But unlike Dark Souls, Absolver doesn’t demand an overwhelming chunk of your spare time – taking around 5-6 hours to complete – and it offers a fair and forgiving experience, going great lengths to ensure all and sundry can make steady progress. Which essentially means it isn’t anything like Dark Souls.

If you’re scratching your head here, allow me to explain: Absolver is Dark Souls in a super-condensed form. It shares the structure and many sensibilities, right down to the fact that some of the core mechanics are left to self-discovery, but it’s much (much) shorter, easier and accessible.

You’re cast into a long-forgotten realm; a destroyed civilization that nature has begun to reclaim. The task at hand is relatively simple: to become an Absolver by finding and defeating six marked targets. They can be tackled in any order, and the only assistance given is a map showing their vague whereabouts. Some are easily discovered – one can be summoned by entering a ruined coliseum, for instance – while others lay off the beaten path.

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