Towerfall Ascension is a 2D action platformer on Steam recently released as a console port on the Playstation 4. Its ready to play game style is perfect for killing a few minutes of time before work or keeping your little ones occupied long enough for you to cook dinner. Trust me on the latter.
The lack of story in Campaign mode does not detract from the game’s overall value as the action is varied and fast paced enough to keep you interested throughout game play. You choose one of four playable archer characters progressing through each level on a world map unlocked one after another as you play. The world map style will be familiar to fans of Super Mario World, players have the option to choose between any unlocked levels and replay them all an infinite number of times. Unlike Super Mario however, Towerfall Ascension tracks and displays statitstics for how many times you’ve attempted a level and how many times you died in the process. (Because of this I make sure to blame my mini me for my 22 attempts/94 deaths on level 2. I swear it’s all her.)
Each level consists of 6 waves of enemies, each wave containing a different mix of level-specific monsters and baddies to shoot and stomp on. Levels are static and fixed (sans the occasional environmental hazard) and you’ll find yourself moving in a very PacMan like off-screen-here/on-screen-there kind of style. The one constant are rival archers that appear at least 1 wave of every level possessing all the abilities your character does: Shoot, Catch, Dodge, and Jump. The good news is you can collect the arrows they shoot at you and add them to your limited quiver. (Cause you can never have too much ammo right? Right?) If you run out of arrows and are unable to collect them from the enviroment you retain the ability to stomp on enemies’ heads to dispatch of them. Yay stomping. For casual play you can choose normal mode and receive multiple lives per level, or Hardcore mode and receive just 1. Campaign progression is available both solo and co-op with a 2nd player.
Towerfall Ascension does feature an up to 4-player versus mode with a variety of game styles to choose from. I only got a chance to try the Stock Score variant which was pretty straight forward, first player to score five kills wins. This game is not multiplayer online so for those of us whom have been looking for something to bring us together again on the couch with a bowl of chips and a community 2 liter, this is a game we’ve been waiting for.
Pros: Simple gameplay, easy to learn. Fast paced action. Low load times. Local multiplayer. Good sound effects/music.
Cons: Character choice is purely aesthetic. Low replayability.
The Top 5 Comic Characters Who Deserve Their Own Video Game
Monday, 26 May 2014 12:06
Written by David Hinspeter
The top 5 comic characters who deserve their own video game
These days comics are the source of so much media. We have the movies from Marvel and DC’s cinematic universes. The ever growing television shows like Arrow, Agents of Shield, Constantine, and the too-close-for-comfort Once Upon a Time. It seems like every time that a comic movie is successful, we get a lack luster licensed video game that was rushed to coincide with the movie release. Of course, there are some notable exceptions; Amazing Spiderman was treated like a sequel and was a particularly amazing game (no pun intended) and the Arkham series of Batman games has been undeniably well done and successful. Here are some more comic characters that I think would make the next best series for video games.
Ensemble games have thus far only had limited success. They have either been a fighting game, like Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Injustice, or a top down hack and slash like Marvel Ultimate Alliance. While both strategies have worked well, I think Stormwatch would be a fantastic in it’s own right, in a new kind of design. With the interesting group dynamics, and massively powerful abilities that can be turned into interesting game mechanics, it could be a great third person action game where you can swap between characters.
Imagine playing as the Midnighter in an Arkham City style fight mechanic when Martian Manhunter comes over the coms and says that Jack Hawksmoor is pinned down. You hit a button and you are now running barefoot in the streets, using the myriad resources of the city to attack your enemies, much like Watch Dogs. A meter on the right of the screen begins to indicate that the panic level of the country is growing too high, so you click a button and immediately take the place of Media, playing media games to show and spin all of the events to be more confidence inspiring. This is just a snap shot with three of the characters, and it would just be the tip of the iceberg. Who doesn’t want to be the most powerful characters in the DC Universe?
Anyone been reading Avengers Arena or Avengers Undercover? If you have, you probably see the red haired super villain, Arcade, in a much more dangerous light. Now you may be thinking, a death trap style villain? What could we possibly do with him?
Well, we’ve all played Roller Coaster Tycoon, the Sims, and (if we are honest with ourselves) at least one of the Villes or City games on Facebook. So I propose that this Arcade Game (ha ha ha!) would be a series of levels where you build a better mouse trap. The culmination of the game, the Boss Level, as it were, would be a full on Murderworld scenario, with 12 – 24 super powered teenagers. I would absolutely love to see this video game reach fruition. The fanboy, not to mention the sadist, in me is already dreaming up ways to force them super teens to drop the hammer!
For those of you who don’t know, Talon is a Batman style super hero who is trained as an assassin and has a focus on being an escape artist. I would like you to imagine an Arkham series Batman game, where the majority of the game is stealth action in the spirit of Tenchu: Stealth Assassins or the Predator portions of the Arkham series. Lots and lots of deathtraps would punctuate this style of gameplay. In fact, you might want to look at it as the flipside of the Arcade Game (This Pun Is Awesome!). Instead of building the mousetrap, escaping them, saving as many people as they can in the process. Puzzles, action, and a connection to the batman universe, this game has the potential to go far.
2. Ghost Rider
Now, I know we’ve experienced this game before. It felt like a rip off of Devil May Cry or maybe God of War. The fighting was twitchy, and while the style has it’s merits, the game just never really captured the soul of the gamers.
The All New Ghost Rider offers a pretty excellent jumping point for a better version of the game. I would see it as a dark, supernatural version of Grand Theft Auto. The more evil he stops, the more experience he gets. This could be used to upgrade his powers, his vehicles, or upgrade his normal life, which is what he is trying to better anyway. One of my favorite mechanics would be that he could transfer any of his abilities that he unlocks for his main car, the charger, to any other vehicle by converting it into a Rider vehicle. Unfortunately, I’d like to see more activities available for the Ghost Rider, but he has one tool in his tool belt. Fire and Brimstone would be the order of the day, and the challenge would be the kinds of combat he enters into. Either way, I think it is time to see the Rider behind the wheel on some console or PC.
1. Iron Fist
OK, here is my homerun swing. Iron fist is THE comic character that should have it’s own game. I know I invoke the Arkham games a lot, but they are very successful and incredibly fun. Iron Fist, with his martial arts background and street level roots, is perfect for that style of sandbox game is perfect. Now, the stealth is inherently acceptable, the man is like a ninja on steroids. All of the abilities that he has learned from the book he was given in the Brubaker Immortal Iron Fist series allow for a lot of unlockable abilities and even different play styles. It would be pretty awesome to play the game like Orson Randall, channeling your chi through a pair of 9mm pistols.
The story wouldn’t be limited to fighting normal humans or to being street level either. He fights super humans, and even has the abilities to do some incredible feats of his own. Feats like playing fist chicken with a bullet train and winning! Also, he deals with mystical cities and alternate realities on a regular basis. The coup de grace for the game, I think, would be that you are on a time limit, trying to develop the strongest kung fu. Then the game would instill a Dragon Ball Z or DOA style tournament system. Once more, in the spirit of Brubaker’s iconic series, the fights would carry the combatants through several different environments, and get progressively harder. The rewards would be to unlock characters, or perhaps new martial arts techniques. Who wouldn’t love a next gen game like this? Make it happen Marvel! Make it happen!
Honorable Mention: City: The Mind in the Machine
This comic is a lesser known title from IDW publishing. It is lesser known because it isn’t licensed, as far as I know, and it only a few issues in. It is only an honorable mention because a couple of comics could do it the same way, and at least one video game is trying. Jack Hawksmoor from Stormwatch would do it well, but Watch Dogs is doing it at the end of this month. I feel it deserves an honorable mention because this would be the idea of using a city as a resource boiled down to it’s purest form. Being able to cut power to security systems, increase pressure to fire a manhole up through a moving car, or locking someone inside of a garbage truck on the fly. I just think this idea needs worked on. Infamous takes the idea of the urban jungle and it’s elements to an awesome place, maybe something like City: the Mind in the Machine would be able to take it to the next level.
Did you like it? Are there any games you think were a bad idea? How about the comics you’d like to see turned into games? Hit me up in the Comments below!
Stir the Pot Saturday: Best Comic Video Game
Saturday, 29 March 2014 08:00
Written by Jeff Hill
Welcome back to Stir the Pot Saturday! Forget the rules? Check them out here and here.
And remember, stirring the pot is, simply put, an old idiom that means agitating a situation to cause a reaction, trouble, unrest, or even dissent. Kinda like what Loki does. But on the internet. And with less death involved.
Got it? Good. So what are you waiting for? You’ve read my opinions (on Tuesday) and those either sparked you to jump on the bandwagon, form an uneasy alliance with me for the time being, or possibly start planning your own top ten list of reasons why I’m a demon-spawn. Either way, it’s all good.
This week’s question: What is your favorite comic book video game of all time?
If there’s one thing nerds love it’s when their mutual love of comic books and video games collide. But if there’s one thing nerds hate it’s when said collision crashes and burns. So let’s ignore those games (cough… we’re looking at you, Superman 64) and focus on the good times.
Here are my top ten:
1. Batman: Arkham series
2. X-Men Legends & X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
3. The Darkness & The Darkness II
4. X-Men: The Mutant Apocalypse
5. Batman: Vengeance
6. Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage
7. Injustice: Gods Among Us
8. The Punisher
9. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
10. Justice League: Heroes
So there they are. Agree? Disagree? Too bad. You’ll have to join us this weekend and have your own voice heard in Stir the Pot Saturday. See you there!
Stir the Pot Saturday: Week 49
Saturday, 07 December 2013 08:00
Written by Jeff Hill
Welcome back, everyone! Just a quick reminder of what our goal for each and every Saturday is: Stirring the pot is the act of causing trouble for the sake of your own amusement. So we here at Comic Booked would like to formally invite you to discuss, debate, and start some shit talkin’ about the characters, the creators, and the storylines given to us from the industry we all know and love, hate, and love to hate. So let’s quit wasting time and start the mud (or web) slinging!
This Saturday’s question: What is your favorite comic-based video game?
Is it the Batman Arkham trilogy? Or the Spider-Man movie games? How about X-Men Legacy 1 & 2? Or any of the online role playing games based on famous comic book properties and licenses? Or is it something else, possibly from the Nintendo, Super Nintendo, or even Sega console generation? Or do you try to keep your video gaming separate from your comic book collecting entirely?
So go forth and debate! But be sure to back up your responses. Don’t be scared. And don’t give up. After all, no one likes a quitter. And you’re not a quitter, are you?