As Gazillion Entertainment quietly works away on their Marvel MMO titles Marvel Heroes, I decided to go ahead and gather as much info as I could on the project since I’m really quite interested in the Marvel universe in video game form.
So what is Marvel Heroes?
An MMO being worked on by Gazillion Entertainment that is said to play like an action RPG. Fans of Diablo or Torchlight will have a vague idea of what to expect while players of the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games should know exactly what is in store for them.
Who do we play as in the game?
Players will not create their own original heroes but will instead get to take on the role of their favourite Marvel protagonists. It’s been said that a huge variety of heroes will be playable in the game. Current characters that are known to be playable are as follows:
Will there be character customization?
There will be customization in the form of alternate costumes, costume construction (not sure how this works yet), selectable powers, and items.
What areas are in the game?
Some of the revealed locations are Avengers Tower, Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown Manhattan, Mutant Town, Savage Land, and Xavier Institute. It has been noted by the developer that PvE locations are completely randomized similarly to areas in Diablo and Diablo II.
Is this a subscription based game?
Marvel Heroes will be 100% free to play, though there will be micro-transactions in the game which have not yet been elaborated on.
What platforms will the game be released for?
Marvel Heroes will be available exclusively for PC.
Blackmoon Prophecy is a fangame (or tribute game as I like to call this) that I began in 2004 which is based on the Final Fantasy franchise. I had abandoned it several times between 2004 and 2008 (the last time I think I worked on it before now) for various reasons. Sometimes I would mess something up that affected the entire game, or I’d simply lose motivation for one reason or another and give up. I released several demos between 2004 and 2007. Initially, not a lot of people took to Blackmoon Prophecy. There were lots of bad maps, dialogue was overly juvenile, and the overall presentation (such as battle animations) was a little disheartening. With each demo, I refined the game more and more to carry a more authentic Final Fantasy feel until it seemed that almost everybody who played the later demos at least partially enjoyed the game. Negative feedback dropped quite a lot over the three years of demo releases. It has now been a few years since my lastdemo and I can safely say that, now that the game is finished, the refinements I’ve made since then are very thorough. Many dialogue sequences and maps have been completely remade and, in some cases, areas of the game have been completely removed because I deemed them to be too amateurish. There are still a few bugs lurking in the game and a few dialogue sequences are still pretty outdated, but general reception on my hosting site (RMN) has been exceptionally positive so far. They’re also helping me out immensely by locating bugs and eventing issues, so I’m very quick to iron out any issues and upload fixed updates.
As for the story, it is meant to emulate classic Final Fantasy titles of the early 1990s. Because of that, the following description is brief.
Blackmoon Prophecy is the story of Vahn, a dragoon from the Branch Kingdom. A year has passed since the Crystal War which saw the King of Branch wage war on the worlds via crystal power. The King was defeated and the crystals returned to their rightful shrines across the world. Now, something mysterious is clearly going on. Strange happenings have been occurring at the Water Shrine, and a local dragoon named Darius has been acting peculiar and defiant in many cases. Can Vahn get to the bottom of it all?
What was it made with?
RPG Maker 2003.
Do I need to RPG Maker 2003 RTP to play?
Can I edit the game if I find any bugs or errors that halt my progress or result in my character getting permanently stuck?
Yes, but the David patch is required due to the monsters in this game requiring more than 999 for stats and 99,999 for HP. If you are going to open this game in RPG Maker 2003, be sure that you have the David patch! It is available on Blackmoon Prophecy’s blog on RMN.
How long is the game?
This is a very good question. After two full days, I’ve had some people on RMN playing for about 10-15 hours and they’re only halfway through the game. By RPG Maker standards, it’s a decently long game. I expect that it should take most people about 20 hours, maybe more.
How big is it?
130 megabytes decompressed. Not bad for over 1200 maps and a wealth of compressed mp3s! As well, I frequently post updates which are only 1 to 2 megabytes in size.
What makes this game a tribute more than just a fangame?
I make constant references to the fourth, fifth, and sixth Final Fantasy games throughout Blackmoon Prophecy. For example, there is one location called Branford Hollow, which is home to a mysterious girl who wants magicite shards. The girl was sprited to look like Terra in the form of a miniature Final Fantasy 4 sprite. I also bring Ultros in. Many item names reference particular games in the series. As well, Mystic Mysidia is ripped straight out of Final Fantasy 4. There are other little details, but I think it’s best for the player to find them rather than having me blab about every single thing.
How does it play?
Blackmoon Prophecy is meant to emulate the older Final Fantasy games in many ways. Walk speed, locations, battle system, items, character roles, and so forth are all emulated to an extent. Basically if you don’t like how Final Fantasy 4 plays, since it is the game I emulate the most, then this may not be a game for you. However, if you enjoyed that particular game in the series, then you may like Blackmoon Prophecy.
Will powerleveling be required like in the original NES titles, or the original Japanese version of Final Fantasy 4?
Yes and no. If you skip most fights and only get by on bosses at first, you won’t have many issues due to the game starting off quite easy. However, the game will eventually punish you if you don’t make an effort to level up at least once in each new area that you visit. There are two distinct difficulty spikes in the game which make themselves known as soon as they are reached.
Minigames? Side quests?
There are hidden side quests all over the place and, in most cases, the player must really look for them. NPCs in towns who look completely unimportant may hold the key to obtaining some nice loot. There are a few minigames of sorts as well such as an arena where the player can fight and unlock treasure chests, a sheep chasing game that awards items based on how many sheep are caught, a Black Jack clone, and an auction house that functions exactly like the one in Final Fantasy 6. There are also LOTS of optional locations to visit.
Blackmoon Prophecy can be downloaded at RMN by clicking here.
I’m a big fan of tower defense games when they are done right. Crystal Defenders, Dungeon Defenders, and Plants vs Zombies are by far my favourites of the genre, but a little flash game known as Kingdom Rush has been giving all three a run for their money.
Kingdom Rush is, as a whole, a pretty standard tower defense game. You get four different types of towers (archer towers, artillery cannons, barracks, and mage towers) which all serve different purposes and can be upgraded as you progress through the game.
Archer towers are, naturally, posts that shoot out a steady barrage of arrows at enemies. They can hit flying enemies, which makes them a valuable asset when waves of flying baddies appear later on.
Barracks train crews of soldiers to block roads and combat any enemies that come within range. When barracks are upgraded, they train stronger soldiers. Deploying soldiers throughout the level works brilliantly as a way to stall the enemies at on certain junctions and roads. Have a stretch of road where your towers deal lots of damage? Throw some barracks down to keep the enemies there longer!
Mage towers are pretty uninteresting early in the game, but when you unlock their final upgrades, they become very enjoyable and helpful towers that allow you to create giant golems, turn enemies into sheep, and shoot death rays. They’re a very versatile (and helpful) tower towards the end of the game.
Artillery cannons are essentially just very large cannons that deal massive area of effect damage to enemies. These towers are perhaps the most lethal in terms of raw damage, but their slow attack speed balances things out so that they aren’t terribly overpowered. This will change when you max out the upgrades on a level 4 cannon though. Once you start firing homing missiles across the map and light entire roadways on fire, you know that nothing’s going to be messing with you!
If your towers are having trouble keeping a wave at bay, you can call upon reinforcements to help you out. They have a short cooldown and can be used very often, but reinforcements are initially quite weak and are nothing but a very brief stalling tactic at the start of the game (though they work wonderfully when paired when soldiers from barracks).
Another power you can use, which has a sixty second cooldown, is the ability to rain meteors down upon your opponents. Yes, meteors. This power deals an insane amount of damage to anything it hits and, chances are that unless you are using the power on the toughest enemies in the game, you’ll kill whatever you target in one go.
The objective is to, of course, keep the enemies from reaching the end of the road. You have twenty hearts that you have to protect and, whenever an enemy slips through your towers and reaches the end, you’ll lose one heart. Some larger enemies will force you to lose more than one. When you lose all twenty hearts, it’s game over. Ideally, you will want to finish levels with all twenty hearts which allows you to unlock bonus challenges for each level.
Whenever you beat a level, you will be awarded with upgrade points which can be spent on, of course, upgrades for your towers and special powers. Most upgrades will just increase the power and range of your towers, but the upgrades for your meteors and reinforcements are much more interesting. Max out your reinforcements and they will become tough soldiers gain the ability to throw spears at flying enemies. Fully upgraded meteors gain the awesome ability to not only rain down longer, but can randomly hit all across the map as well.
Kingdom Rush isn’t a terribly long game, having only about twelve or so levels (plus two premium levels that you must pay to unlock). If you are only playing to breeze through the game’s story then you won’t be playing for too long. However, if you are looking to beat each level as well as the two challenges for each and every one, then you’ll be busy for a long time as you will essentially be increasing the length of the game by three.
For a flash game, Kingdom Rush is exceptionally good. The gameplay is absolutely top notch, and the graphics and sound are pretty impressive for a game of this kind. The graphics aren’t extremely advanced and are basic 2D, but there was a lot of care taken in spriting everything in this game and it shows. The music is also a lot of fun to listen to and is actually, as a whole, much more enjoyable than what I hear in quite a few commercial games.
If you’re a fan of tower defense games, then giving Kingdom Rush a try is a no brainer. Considering it’s fully free to play (though unlocking premium content costs money, as does acquiring the game on the iPad), there’s no reason for you not to try this game. An even greater incentive to try this game is the fact that the developers have promised later additions and expansions to the game. This is without a doubt one of the better flash games that I have played.
+ Bonus challenges add lots of replayability.
+ Gameplay is top notch for a tower defense game.
+ Great music and sound effects for a flash game.
– Difficulty is not consistent throughout the game.
– Game could have been longer.
– Premium content feels tacked on.
“The game that is so self-aware and mind blowingly awesome that it doesn’t even need you.”
“Since time before time the Vorlak had held the Crosshutch at Thraeskamp. The ancient reckoning held that the Five Skrelkampi (and their Truebine) would return when the great Trond-feast could be held anew and the Belnap reunited. But this legend became lost to all but the Papperboxen at Horbug. One of their own was Yallow the Speldrig, who found an unlikely pupil in Torbole Understeady, the discarded illigitimate waif of Wainthane Topknox, whom Yallow renamed Grumdrig and began to school as a boar-pulmet’s apprentice. …And, as it was said by some, in aberdoxy.”
So, I’m reviewing Progress Quest. Perhaps I should just lean back and let this review write itself, just for the hell of it.
… … …
Alright, I waited about a full minute and there’s been absolutely no progress on the review writing itself, which is the complete opposite of what Progress Quest does. Progress Quest is a very detailed RPG complete with a seemingly infinite number of equippable items, loot, monsters, spells, and quests. There is, however, one catch.
You don’t play Progress Quest. It plays itself.
So how does this even classify as a game and why am I reviewing it? Just because, that’s why. Progress Quest is so tongue in check and does not take itself even slightly seriously, so nor will I take this review seriously.
So, Progress Quest! There are two game modes – single player and multiplayer. After choosing your desired mode of play, you get to make your character. There are many interesting race choices such as Demicanadian, Enchanted Motorcycle, Land Squid, and Talking Pony. The classes are just as diverse and include Bastard Lunatic, Inner Mason, Tickle-Mimic, and of course the legendary Tongueblade. After choosing a race and class combination, naming the character, and then choosing a set of randomly generated stats, it’s play time. Or watch time.
After you are finished making your character, you are treated to an awesome screen of progress bars.
Basically all you do is watch the game play itself. The status bar at the bottom dictates what your character is doing, which is either killing things, selling loot, or advancing the game’s plot (which doesn’t even exist).
This may sound incredibly dull, and it would be if it weren’t for the fact that Progress Quest is pretty darn funny. Common enemies to encounter include beer golems, porn elementals, and even giant were-will-o-the-wisps. The spell names are just as odd and range from hydrophobia, to holy batpole, to spectral oyster.
Does this game even make any sense? Or does this review? I don’t even know, but I’m going back to watching my Demicanadian Tickle-Mimic kill more beer golems and underage spectres.
“A game that is probably just as frustrating as the ones that James plays.”
The header, of course, is only fitting. This is indeed a frustrating game, but that does not mean that it is a bad one!
The AVGN Angry Video Game is made by Eric Ruth, a guy who is awesome at making platformers and video game demakes of many varieties. Most of his games are indeed fangames and he seems to be able to replicate various characteristics of the games that his are based off of very well. This applies to the AVGN Angry Video Game as well, and I’ll explain how.
In the Angry Video Game, you play as James as he just… I don’t even know. In traditional 8-bit fashion, the protagonist (in this case, James Rolfe) is thrust into a series of levels that don’t seem to make a lot of sense or have any meaning – just like the games featured in the AVGN episodes!
Another similarity between the Angry Video Game and the games featured in AVGN episodes is a distinct lack of good controls. James moves just fine with the controls he has been assigned, but they are in very awkward and unconventional locations on the keyboard. Those who cannot adjust to strange control layouts or do not have any tools to use their own gamepads (Hint: Joy2Key) will definitely have problems adjusting to the controls in Angry Video Game. If James were to make an AVGN episode about this game, he’d probably call the controls ass.
The graphics are actually very good. Graphically, the game sits somewhere between NES and SNES visuals. Eric Ruth has shown that he is no slouch when it comes to spriting. Everything looks pretty good in this game, except for perhaps one or two animations. James looks amusing and the enemies are all easily identifiable.
The game likes to thrust a lot of tough enemies at you, however. They aren’t necessarily difficult to defeat, but so many enemies shoot projectiles and move erratically that it just makes it a little frustrating if you’re not doing well. Bosses in particular are pretty annoying, as there are usually several projectiles moving across the screen all the time.
The game’s biggest redeeming factor is, coincidentally, James Rolfe. You see, as soon as you begin the game you hear his voice, and he doesn’t go away – ever. To diehard AVGN fans, this is pretty great. It’s a lot of fun hearing him curse at the game when you die, and he comments on various things in the levels as you experience them. It sort of makes it feel like James is playing the game with you, which is pretty cool. I know that it was done to emulate an AVGN episode, but the feature accomplishes so much more. Definitely the best part of this game.
There’s little else to say, so I’ll wrap up the review! If you’re a fan of the Angry Video Game Nerd or like tough platformers, give this one a try. It’s up in my downloads section.
Chances are good that if you grew up in the 16 bit era, you were able to play around with Mario Paint and it’s awesome music composer. It was pretty darn popular, which is fairly evident with the creation of Mario Paint Composer. I can’t quite recall when the program came out, but it is basically a Windows version of composer in Mario Paint. I’ve collected some awesome tunes that people have made in the composer. Check them out!
Breath of Fire – Second Battle Theme (By Lumunaire271)
Castlevania – Vampire Killer (By adolfobaez)
Duck Tales – Moon Level (By Levus28)
Final Fantasy IV – The Dreadful Battle (By HCBailly)
Final Fantasy V – The Land Unknown (By HCBailly)
Final Fantasy VI – Celes’ Theme (By NorseFTX)
Final Fantasy VII – Still More Fighting (By HCBailly)
Final Fantasy VIII – Man With The Machine Gun (By HCBailly)
Final Fantasy IX – Boss Theme (By HCBailly)
Mega Man 2 – Wily Stage 1 (By TomBobBlender)
Mega Man X – Spark Mandrill (theEvilGrimace)
Sonic the Hedgehog – Green Hill Zone (By TomBobBlender)
Super Mario Bros. 2 – Main Theme (By The Lymphocyte)
Super Mario World – Athletic Level (By Fredfischer)
Tetris – Theme Music (By TomBobBlender)
The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind – Theme Music (By MickeRamone)
The Legend of Zelda – Main Theme (By adolfobaez)
And here are some non-Video game ones. Mostly real songs and TV themes. Very cool as well!
Angry Video Game Nerd Theme (By TomBobBlender)
Collective Soul – Run (By dfarkins)
Dexter – Opening Theme (By Afrodude50)
Dragonforce – Through the Fire and Flames (by Levus28)
Europe – The Final Countdown (By Bangario)
Flintstones – Main Theme (By Friedfischer)
King of the Hill – Opening Music (By Aceticacidplease)
Metallica – Battery (By EverlastingLuigi)
Pirates of the Caribbean – He’s A Pirate (By Uhiwi)
Rocky – Gonna Fly Now (By lapras509)
Star Trek – Movie/Next Generation Theme (By EcLipsE1982Fat)