Tagged "SteamWorld Heist"

Apr 25
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Three years after its original Japanese debut, and almost six months after its US launch, Yo-Kai Watch finally graces Europe this Friday. Japanese gamers are about to receive the third iteration in Level-5’s ghost hunting RPG, but don’t let this put you off – the original Yo-Kai Watch is a very good game, easily on par with Professor Layton, Fantasy Life, Inazuma Eleven and other Level-5 3DS hits.

The US release was greeted by a mixture of 7s, 8s and 9s at launch. “Don’t let Yo-Kai Watch’s kiddie appeal fool you: It might not be as deep as your average, adult-style RPG, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Level-5’s gradual evolution of their “house style” has amounted to a true successor to Pokemon—one entirely free of its predecessor’s 8-bit baggage” said US Gamer, before handing out a 4/5.

Reviews from European outlets have been likewise positive. “Yo-Kai Watch is a charming and sprawling RPG, one that appeals to a younger audience with its adorable characters and moral-heavy story, but also to mature players with its intense and complex battle system” said God is a Geek.

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With the right marketing push behind it, Nintendo could very well prove to the naysayers that there’s life in the 3DS yet.

The 3DS also gets Super Punch-Out!! (£7.19 – New 3DS only), a newfangled version of the old Nokia timewaster Sssnakes (£1.79), Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge (free!) and Castle Conqueror EX (€3.99). The fact that Nintendo hasn’t listed Castle Conqueror EX’s price in GBP would suggest that it’s only due in some parts of Europe this week. This is quite often the case for Circle Ent’s software.

The smashing SteamWorld Heist meanwhile receives its first piece of DLC. Subtitled The Outsider, it sees Captain Piper teaming up with a new ally who has a rather mysterious past. New missions, gear, weapons and hats are promised, in addition to an extra playable character. The £4.49 asking price seems reasonable to us.

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Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge is also arriving on Wii U, again for sweet nothing. A spin-off of the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, this puzzler entails guiding characters to an exit by manipulating the environment via the touchscreen. Eleven characters feature in total, each with their own abilities – Yoshi can eat enemies, while Luigi can leap higher than others. Although it’s a free download, and it isn’t stipulated as such, it sounds like you’ll need at least one amiibo to play it. This, of course, means taking them out the box too. Wah!

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Dec 09
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

If you played Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig then chances are you’ll be in agreement that it was hard to fault. SteamWorld Heist follows suit – it’s one of those rare games that’s hard to criticise without resorting to nitpicking.

The amazing thing is, SteamWorld Heist isn’t a simple case of more of the same – it’s a completely different, and much longer lasting, experience. This 2D tactical shooter is merely set in the same universe; a universe full of delightfully dorky steam powered robots. Or steambots, to use the correct terminology.

Captain Piper and her crewmates took to stars in search of valuable water supplies after their homeworld was destroyed. She’s no robotic Robin Hood – she’s a smuggler who sneaks onto ships, steals the crew’s loot and often makes a hasty getaway while all guns blazing. The first chapter focuses on finding out why enemy activity has increased in the vicinity. Scrappers, as they’re known, have been giving the local moisture farmers grief and as such Piper is promised a handsome reward for turning them back into scrap.

Formed from old boilers and whatnot, the Scrappers are first of three enemy factions Piper comes across, with the other two making an appearance in the remaining two chapters. Each has different unit types and a head honcho to defeat, which works wonders in keeping things both focused and fresh.

The Scrappers go down easy, making them ideal target practise while learning the ropes. Being a turn-based shooter and all, the idea is to move your crew members one at a time before selecting an attack and taking aim. And yes, it is possible to skip character movement animations.

Vanguards – such as Ivanski, the stereotypical Russian circus robot – can cover great distances while others have a restrictive field of movement. Blue tiles are used to display areas that can be moved to while vantage points for attack are shown in orange. Breakable boxes, barrels and shields meanwhile provide defensive cover. Invaluable cover at that – it’s unwise to leave a robot out in the open, especially after filling nearby opposition with hot lead.

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Gunplay is SteamWorld Heist’s forte; something that has clearly been refined and honed to perfection. Piper starts out with a weak but accurate laser-sighted pistol which plays a key role in the learning curve, allowing you to get a feel for the physics before moving onto non-sighted weapons. It’s the epitome of excellent game design. Indeed, this is a game that requires skill rather than luck. Over time you’ll see great improvements to your shooting skills, bouncing bullets off walls and ceilings to land a perfect headshot. This is, of course, immensely satisfying. The way enemies explode into a shower of scrap – complete with the occasional, gratuitous, slow-mo effect – plays part in this too.

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Dec 07
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Last week Nintendo took the limelight with Xenoblade Chronicles X and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. arriving on the eShop. This week it’s time for the indie developers to shine.

On Wii U the eagerly awaited FAST Racing NEO (£10.99) is the undeniable highlight. Nintendo recently confessed that they haven’t announced a new F-Zero as they’re unsure how to progress the franchise. FAST Racing NEO is looking like the next best thing; a super sleek racer with 60fps performance. We played it at EGX back September and were rather impressed.

Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures

Retro influenced platformer Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (£8.99) also launches on both Wii U and 3DS. It’s better than you may expect, bagging a fair few 8/10s. “Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is another fun retro-inspired title that’s definitely worth a look if you’re looking for a challenging platformer on the eShop” said Nintendo World Report.

The Wii U also gets the 3D art studio VoxelMaker (£3.49) – think along the lines of a virtual Pixel Bricks/Nanoblocks set – and prehistoric trivial game Dinox (£4.49).

Cult classic puzzler Polarium Advance (£6.29) and the 20-game strong Game & Watch Gallery Advance (£6.29) are the week’s Virtual Console titles, meanwhile.

In addition to Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, SteamWorld Heist (£11.99 until 31st December, £14.99 thereafter) graces 3DS. Set in the same universe as the much-loved SteamWorld Dig, this is another eagerly awaited title. Whereas SteamWorld Dig combined Mr. Driller and Super Metroid to good effect, SteamWorld Heist is something completely different – a turn-based 2D shooter with strategic elements. It’s merely set in the same universe; a universe filled with pleasingly goofy robots that wouldn’t look out of place on Futurama. We’re hoping to have a review ready before it launches.

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