Tagged "Xbox Indie"

May 22
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

The first thing that entered our mind when playing this Xbox Indie title was whether or not the developers had cheekily pinched Halo’s grass texture. That’s a compliment more than anything – Halo had the best looking grass around, and for quite some time. Evidentially we spent a lot of time staring at it.

memories of the Spectrum classic Monster Maze 3D came flooding back

We may never know if Rendercode Games have pilfered Halo’s most famous of textures, but we can tell you that The Monastery has a very humble feel to it.

Armed with just a flashlight, you’re tasked with retrieving bibles scattered around the ruins of a reasonably large monastery.

This quest may seem a little tedious initially, but once a few bibles have been found you soon learn that you’re not alone. Inside the ruins lie demons that are quick to give chase. Since combat doesn’t feature, all you can do is run. In the blink of an eye it goes from being a fetch quest to a rather deadly game of ‘cat and mouse’. We suppose this would mean that the bibles are now cheese.

themonastery1

Thankfully the ability to run faster than the evil that lurks inside provides the upper hand. This doesn’t mean that the demons don’t pose a threat, however. As more bibles are found they increase in number.

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Feb 04
By Matt Gander In Reviews 3 Comments

When Microsoft rejigged the Xbox 360’s dashboard they hid the Indie Games section away in a dark and dusty corner. The community rebelled and now the Indie Games section has been moved to a place where it’s impossible to ignore – you have to scroll past it to get to the popular demo section. Since the shuffle I take a gander at people’s homebrew creations more regularly, so if it wasn’t for that indie uprising I probably wouldn’t have discovered radiangames Ballistic – a game so good it could be a proper Xbox Live Arcade game.

It’s not stunningly original – it’s a single screen twin-stick shooter, much like Geometry Wars – but it’s a treat for the eyes, with some lovely sharp visuals, and it does have a few ideas up its techocolour sleeves. Firstly, you can choose a ‘load out’ between waves which includes the ability to move slightly quicker and bounce bullets off walls. Secondly, all the enemies are spherical – some move around aimlessly while others kamikaze their way across the screen. Later shielded enemies appear who can only be attacked from behind.

The main mode simply gives you waves of enemies to blast, with your score then added to the leaderboard once you’ve snuffed it. You can continue from the last wave you got to, so there’s no need to start from scratch every time you play. Challenge mode, meanwhile, is something that more than lives up to its name – in each challenge you have to survive for two minutes and gain a high score. On some challenges you only get one life, while during others the screen gets incredibly crowded (in a good way). The odds can be evened by ‘going ballistic’ by holding down the trigger to temporarily increase firepower. The downside of this is that there’s a cool down period where you can’t shoot at all for five seconds or so.

My only minor gripe is that seemingly for the sake of being stylish, pointless statistics – such as total enemies killed – are listed on the left-hand side of the screen, which makes the playing area more cluttered than it needs to be.

With Geometry Wars 3 now a pipe dream seeing that Bizarre Creations have been scrubbed off Activison’s payroll, this is easily the next best thing. Eugene Jarvis would be proud.

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