Tagged "Hellfront: Honeymoon"

Dec 19
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

The subtitle for this fast-paced RTS is a reference to the hex-based terrain coating the game’s trio of hostile alien worlds. Under the surface dwell stripy insect-like creatures that rise from underground when a structure is destroyed. Their ferociousness makes us doubt they’d produce something as delightful as honey, but they do pack an almighty sting, attacking any soldiers in the vicinity.

Sudden onslaughts from these nameless insects – simply referred to as ‘bugs’ – are one of Hellfront’s more random features, helping to keep players on their toes. In fact, it’s the only randomised feature. In the name of keeping battles balanced everything else runs like clockwork, so to speak.

What we have here is a hex-based RTS condensed to its absolute purest. That’s no exaggeration: battles last around 2-3 minutes and take place on a single-screen, and there are only two buildable objects – a barracks that generates soldiers, and an automated gun turret – which can only be placed on marked locations. Keeping with the theme of simplicity, the controls are remarkably simple too – one trigger is used to shoot, allowing hostiles to be engaged directly by twin-stick shooting, while the other orders troops to move directly in front of your position.

As long as a player has a barracks somewhere on the map, they can respawn. Once all enemy bases are destroyed, the battle is over. The deathmatch mode uses a best-of-three structure, and you can either play on randomised maps or pick a favourite. Some feature bug eggs that erupt when shot, as well as breakable walls that separate rival factions. Other maps have locations to place a handful of structures in close proximity, while others force you to space your turrets and barracks far apart.

dropping a building on an enemy is a legit play tactic

It only takes a few matches to become familiar with Hellfront’s balancing. Place a turret near an enemy barracks and it’ll be reduced to rubble in seconds. Soldiers can make short work of a turret, but if you engage it directly you’re likely to come worse off. The unpredictable alien swarms, meanwhile, will tear their way through your soldiers unless distance is kept. And if you place a shiny new turret next to another newly erectly turret, they usually explode simultaneously. Time to try something new.

The alien swarms prevent players from re-erecting buildings the moment they explode. There’s another, slightly more amusing, mechanic in place – orbital frags. Air dropping a building on an enemy is a legit play tactic, which we imagine was naturally introduced during development. Be warned though, as it’s also possible to kill your own captain this way. It’s akin to blowing yourself up during a heating bout of Super Bomberman.

That comparison is apt because in terms of content and due to the game’s single-screen nature, Hellfront is highly reminiscent of the Super Bomberman series.

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Dec 19
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

This week sees the last of 2018’s retail releases, in the form of the not-very-exciting Fitness Boxing for Switch.

We aren’t best convinced that the final digital releases of the year are upon us though, as we know for certain that the rhythm action rail shooter Aaero: Complete Edition and the intriguing JCB Pioneer: Mars are due on the Switch eShop on Christmas Eve.

The few games out this week are a curious assortment. There’s the colourful Japanese party game Nippon Marathon (think along the lines of Takeshi’s Castle), the single-screen RTS Hellfront: Honeymoon, a belated XO/Switch release of Donut Country, and a PS4 re-release of R-Type Dimensions EX – which includes R-Types I and II with new 3D visuals.

They’re joined by Big Bash Boom on Xbox One, a full price(!) cricket party game(!) that appeared out of nowhere on Monday.

Depending on which country you live in, Atari Flashback Classic Vol. 3 may, or may not, be available now too. It hit the Xbox One last week, and it looks like it launches in the US today. Don’t quote us on that, mind. VideoChums posted a review earlier this week, calling it the strongest volume so far.

Finally, there’s a slew of new DLC, including Marvel’s Spider-Man: Silver Lining, Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Pillar and the currently free HITMAN 2 – Holiday Hoarders pack. That last one sounds worthwhile, with a mission involving Agent 47 preventing thieves from stealing presents at a Paris fashion show. There’s a bunch of new achievements, contracts, and story missions too.

It’s nice to see at least one publisher in the spirit of giving this Christmas.

New release showcase:

R-Type Dimensions EX

Reviews:
9/10 – The Metro: “The best 2D shooters of the retro era return once again, with a good value package that has plenty for new fans and old”

9/10 – GameSpace: “R-Type Dimensions EX brings you back to a golden era of games without loot boxes or DLC. You were able to enjoy a game in the fullest and know that you got your money’s worth on a full game”

8.2 – VideoChums: “R-Type Dimensions has been around for almost a decade and this EX edition doesn’t really add anything substantial to the compilation. That being said, these are still two of the best shoot ’em ups ever made”

Nippon Marathon

Reviews:
3/5 – VideoChums: “Nippon Marathon is a ridiculous bakage game that’s a ton of fun with friends but its annoying gameplay is only tolerable in short bursts”

4/10 – Push Square: “Some might enjoy the off-piste humour and Japanese influences, but it sadly limits the game’s appeal, and at the end of the day, the presentation leaves a lot to be desired. The frantic gameplay feels too clumsy and disjointed to remain fun for very long. The janky nature of the game is part of the joke, but the joke isn’t particularly funny in this case, and others have told it much better than this”

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