Archive for March, 2013

Tabletop review: Magical Athlete

March 16, 2013

magicaltitle

Magical Athlete is a pretty mindless game. You roll a six-sided die and move your character a few spaces. First and second place get points, everyone else doesn’t. It’s the sort of overly simplistic design that people grow out of when they turn eight.

But it’s also sort of awesome, an incredibly reductive game that manages to provide the barest sketchings of strategy and enough conflict to make it feel worthwhile. Magical Athlete is dumb, but it’s the sort of dumb fun that has people cursing, laughing, and performing tons of exaggerated die rolls.

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XBLIndie review: Chronoblast

March 6, 2013

chronolasers

Chronoblast consists of five stages of bullet hell shooting supplemented by a scoring system based around chaining quick kills together. Your ship’s rapid shot quickly kills small enemies, while the laser maintains your chain when held on larger enemies. You earn supers, which cancel all onscreen bullets and give your ship a boost of firepower.

If those mechanics sound familiar, it’s because they’ve been directly lifted from Cave’s Dodonpachi series and reassembled into a $1 XBLA Indie download. Chronoblast feels short on new ideas, but succeeds in providing a solid alternative to expensive import shooters.

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360 review: Ginga Force

March 1, 2013

GingaForceMini

Ginga Force* starts off a bit of a mess. Your ship feels underpowered. You can shoot two weapons at once, but doing so quickly drains their energy. Your main weapon loses energy automatically anyhow, exacerbating your helplessness. There’s a nifty shield, but rarely enough bullets onscreen to justify using it.

As you work through the first few stages, you can unlock and purchase new ship parts with money dropped by enemies. They change the look of your ship, but functionally they’re a little underwhelming. A different narrow shot here, a different wide shot there. It feels a little tedious. Keep playing.

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