[REVIEW] The Coma: Recut

The Coma: Recut
Developer: Devespresso Games
Publisher: Digerati Distribution
Available on: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Steam, GOG
Price: $14.99 USD
For fans of: Claire: Extended Cut, White Day: A Labyrinth Named School

The Coma: Recut is a “definitive edition” re-release of the original game, The Coma: Cutting Class, from 2015, as well as the Korean horror title’s console debut. According to the press release, the original game’s animations, mechanics, cutscenes, and art have been updated, and the Recut version is available on PC as a free update for those of you who already own Cutting Class.

Having no prior knowledge of The Coma’s existence prior to its recent console release, I approached the 2D horror game with a general understanding of its gameplay and tone thanks to its PS4 launch trailer. The premise of being trapped inside of a high school, scouring every nook and cranny for useful items and puzzle solutions while avoiding a menacing stalker, immediately drew comparison to 2001’s White Day: A Labyrinth Named School (which I ultimately didn’t care for). However, its hand-drawn, almost comic book visual flair and 2D presentation caught my attention and I was willing to give it a fair shake.

Unfortunately, I left The Coma: Recut feeling equally unsatisfied. What exists here is a mostly forgettable horror experience that’s far more cumbersome than it is terrifying.

Continue reading “[REVIEW] The Coma: Recut”

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[REVIEW] Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack (Nintendo Switch)

Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack
Developer: Inti Creates (self-published)
Available on: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), 3DS (released in 2016)
Price: $39.99 USD

While Capcom is clearly uninterested in furthering the Mega Man franchise beyond console cycle re-releases and fighting game cameos, Inti Creates broke away from them in 1996 and have been steadily carving their niche in a similar genre by way of the Mega Man Zero & ZX series (and assisting Comcept with the development of Mighty No. 9, but shhhh!). If you’re a current Nintendo Switch owner, you’re probably familiar with their work on Blaster Master Zero as well.

Their latest release, however, isn’t entirely new. Azure Striker Gunvolt is a 2D action platformer that initially released in 2014 on the Nintendo 3DS, with an immediate sequel on the same platform in 2016. The Striker Pack itself, which contains both games and their respective updates on a single cartridge, also released on the 3DS during the fall of last year — which is essentially what you’re getting here on the Switch for $39.99 USD, in addition to its newly implemented HD visuals, 60fps gameplay, and rumble feedback.

Continue reading “[REVIEW] Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack (Nintendo Switch)”

Cave Story+ Gets Physical, Physical. Oh, and a Launch Date.

The fine folks at Nicalis are bringing the definitive edition of indie darling Cave Story to the Nintendo Switch on June 20th in both physical and digital formats. In a PR e-mail received earlier today, the official price is set at $29.99 for either version. Continue reading “Cave Story+ Gets Physical, Physical. Oh, and a Launch Date.”

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ Has Some Neat Extras and Nods to Zelda

Twin-stick roguelike The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is one of the few physically released Nintendo Switch titles currently available at retail, and it’s the one I recommend picking up alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildContinue reading “The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ Has Some Neat Extras and Nods to Zelda”

CA! Radio Episode 117: Feeling Nostalgic – Switch News, Nostalgia, and the Labor of Love of Self-Running a Game Site

Yesterday I joined Chuck Zodl from Counterattack Games to discuss our current gaming plans, the latest Nintendo Switch news, new games that make us feel nostalgic, and the labor of love that comes with self-running a small video game site in 2017.

This podcast is something we’re trying to make a regular weekly thing, schedules permitting, so if there are questions you’d like us to answer on the next recording, leave it down in the comments and we’ll give you and your gaming outlet a shout out. They can be civil or bizarre, game related or not, it doesn’t matter. We’re not shy. Ask away!

If you do listen to the podcast, we hope that you enjoy it as much as we did recording it. In the link below, there should be the option to share the podcast on social media, and if you like what we’re doing and want to show some support, consider spreading the love to your own friends and followers. We’d highly appreciate it.

Thanks for listening!

-Brad

Continue reading “CA! Radio Episode 117: Feeling Nostalgic – Switch News, Nostalgia, and the Labor of Love of Self-Running a Game Site”

Nintendo Remains Innovative, Imaginative, and Out of Touch with the Switch

Now that I’ve had a few days to digest the recent Nintendo Switch presentation, I’d like to discuss its ups and downs as a core console gamer. One that grew up playing NES and SNES, felt a little burned by the Wii U, and wants nothing more than The Big N to return to form with the Switch.

What we saw was Nintendo continuing to display their innovation, crafting a hybrid home- and handheld console with detachable controllers, offering an accessible co-op experience straight out of the box. Their desire to push boundaries and create fun new experiences remains their core focus, and they were intent on selling the Switch as a brand new console, a new way to play games, to avoid a repeat of the Wii U’s disastrous reveal in 2011.

However, my main takeaway from the presentation is that Nintendo still remains out of touch with the rest of the console market. There are a lot of exciting games in the pipeline, but a weak launch line-up, overpriced accessories, a rather questionable social interface, a lackluster paid online service requirement, and utterly laughable third-party support out of the gate, has me worried that the Switch may be just as successful (or unsuccessful) as the Wii U.

First, let’s go over what we know about the Switch so far.

Continue reading “Nintendo Remains Innovative, Imaginative, and Out of Touch with the Switch”

Metroid Prime: Federation Force – Blast Ball Mode Gets Free Demo. It’s Not Good.

The 3DS Metroid that nobody asked for, Federation Force, received a free demo today for its 3-on-3 Rocket League mode, Blast Ball. And it’s not good.

Similar to Rocket League, two teams of three compete to sink a large glowing ball in to the opposing team’s goal. There’s also the option to play with 5 AI-controlled opponents offline. Unlike Rocket League, however, it’s not very fun. At all.

Blast Ball has a few things working against it, starting with the control scheme. In order to stay locked on to the ball, you have to keep your finger on the L trigger — this, combined with manual aiming via the R trigger (due to the original 3DS’s lack of a 2nd analog stick), makes moving the ball quite the nuisance. The controls became uncomfortable for me well before the end of my first match, so I can’t imagine playing it for any extended period of time.

The rest of the face buttons are used to dodge, activate power-ups (like faster movement speed), and fire your arm cannon in both rapid fire and charged shot flavors. You can use the bottom screen to shout a selection of generic quips to your teammates, like “nice shot!”, or view your current power-up, but that’s really all there is to it.

Although Blast Ball is just an optional side-mode, it’s safe to assume the given control scheme will reflect how uncomfortable it’s going to be playing the campaign.

The gameplay itself is also quite unfortunate. My main complaint is that shooting is your only form of offense AND defense, since getting hit by the ball can kill you. Your arm cannon is limited by an overheat meter, meaning you either use your shots to move the ball toward the opposing goal, or save them in order to sway its momentum away from your own. That sounds fine in theory, but the motion of the ball is unpredictable. In the few matches I played, playing defense boiled down to an uninteresting game of spray-and-pray bullet firing or sacrificing myself to the ball gods in order to prevent a goal.

Imagine if soccer (or futbol, depending on your region) replaced its traditional ball with a cannonball instead. Now also imagine that goalies explode whenever they block a shot, and their only defense against the cannonball is a straw and a handful of spitballs. Sounds entertaining, as long as you yourself aren’t the one playing it. And therein lies the problem.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force’s Blast Ball mode just isn’t fun.

It borrows heavily from Rocket League, but removes everything that made it enjoyable: the chaos, the adrenaline rush of zooming downfield and launching yourself in an attempt to score a goal, the communication between teammates, and just about every other reason it received numerous Game of the Year awards.

I’ll admit that when Nintendo announced a new Metroid and Federation Force is what they came up with, I was furious. Metroid has been given the shaft since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and it deserved better than a seemingly half-assed multi-player game in which four players who aren’t Samus revisit planets from the series’ history. But as a long time fan of the series, I wanted to see it for myself in order to give it a fair chance. Blast Ball has done nothing to sway my opinion.

I know that Blast Ball isn’t the only mode available in Federation Force, as the core game is a four-player co-op campaign with nearly 60 missions, but it was enough for me to stay clear when it releases the day before my birthday on August 19th. And if my Twitter feed is anything to go by, I’m not the only person put off.

If you’re interested in experiencing it for yourself, the demo will remain free for everyone to play until “early September,” according to the PR e-mail I received from Nintendo this morning.

Have you checked it out yet? If so, what are your thoughts? How do you see it faring when it releases next month?