Posts Tagged ‘Premature Evaluation’

Premature Evaluation: Smite Tactics

Every Monday Brendan prays to the gods of early access for favour, power and a winning hand. This week, the collectible card game battler Smite Tactics [official site]

Being a fan of Duelyst’s card-based lunacy, I was more than happy to dip my toes into Smite Tactics at Pip’s suggestion. It’s a spin-off CCG from the makers of the same-named MOBA, using their collected gods and mythical figureheads to get you collecting cards instead of pushing mid. Sadly, it’s as skeletal as an argonaut’s worst nightmare, in dire need of some fleshing out.
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Premature Evaluation: Avorion

Every week we give Brendan a heap of scrap metal and warp him to the early access quadrants. This time, the single- and multiplayer create-your-own-space-junk of Avorion [official site].

My beautiful butterfly of a ship is floating sideways through space, with only one of its thrusters still intact. In the distance, tracer rounds dance around an innocent convoy of traders. The pirates didn’t waste much time on my ship, the Strictly Murder. A few surprise shots, a clumsy collision and off I drifted, desperately checking a game menu in an effort to rebuild and plot a course back to the safe zone. I clicked the rebuild button, certain that enough time had passed since the last shot struck my craft’s blue, delicate wings. A red message buzzed in the corner of my display.

“You need 910 iron and 588 titanium.”

Oh good, I thought. Back to mining. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Galactic Junk League

Every Monday, we send Brendan into the early access hangar with only a spanner and some big ideas. This week, the build-your-own-spaceship battler Galactic Junk League [official site].

Let’s see, we’ll strap on an uber cannon there… and another one there… paint this red and this bit black… plop another thruster or two back here… hide the shield generator in this alcove… plaster some armour plating here and here and, oh, here… yes! It looks like my new ship is ready to go. Sharkey the Shite is a giant destroyer-class cannon-platform. He’s not very fast and he turns slower than a bicycle wheel with a stick in it. But he’ll probably be better than my last ship, a rusting block of junk with ten missile batteries stuck to every side. I called that one the Barge of Rats.
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Premature Evaluation: Overgrowth

Every Monday we send Brendan into the early access fighting pits to face all types of terrifying wildlife. This week, the rabbit kickboxers and ultra strong wolves of Overgrowth [official site].

Overgrowth is a game that has been eight years in the making and still isn’t anywhere near finished. An anthropomorphic fighting game of swift kicks and raw punches to the side of the head, it is beautifully animated, pleasingly ragdoll, and Bruce Lee fast. There also isn’t very much to do. There’s a lot of pleasure to be got from executing the perfect series of kicks and punches against its tough, intelligent opponents, especially when they’re armed with heavy one-hit-kill swords. But unless you reeeeeally like that, the joy of it soon dries up.
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Premature Evaluation: Pit People

Every Monday we send Brendan on a cartoonish quest to kill or capture an early access game and force it to battle in the fighting pits. This week, the comic antics of Pit People [official site].

Oh thank god, it’s funny. Having missed Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater, previous games from The Behemoth, I didn’t know what kind of comedy to expect. When I heard the South Parky voice of this game’s antagonistic narrator (the same voice actor from their previous game), I feared the worst – second-hand dick jokes, gateway satire, walking talking poops. I was relieved to feel my first lol, the result of a character’s quick, unexpected death and the narrator’s flamboyant disregard. It’s also a decent strategy game, which isn’t a genre I’d usually associate with giant purple bears bleeding onto the surface of the earth. But there you go.
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Premature Evaluation – Art of War: Red Tides

Every Monday, we put Brendan in charge of a horde of early access games and force them to do battle. This week, the single-lane strategy of Art of War: Red Tides.

The evolutionary tree of the MOBA is a sprawling, mutated mess. While Warcraft got Dota, somewhere on some oozing far-off branch, Starcraft II got Desert Strike, a ‘tug of war’ custom game mode that pits commanders against one another on a single lane and automates nearly all troop movements and attacks. The only thing you do is control the flow of cash and decide what troops to send in the next wave. Imagine being in charge of the creep spawner in a normal MOBA and deciding that you don’t want these useless green lizards anymore, but some giant, furious mechs instead. You’ve got the basic idea. Art of War: Red Tides is the next slimey bud on that same evolutionary branch. It’s quite relaxing.
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Premature Evaluation: Virtual-O

Every Monday we abandon Brendan in a forest with a map and an early access game. This week, the hardcore orienteering of Virtual-O [official site].

“These rocks are definitely the correct rocks,” I think, as the sun glares down through the trees of a Czech wood. A flock of birds passes through the sky in the distance. Grass and twigs rustle under my feet as I look around for the control – a small orange and white square that serves as a checkpoint for this countryside time trial. Ah, there it is. I run towards it, feeling relief that I am not as lost as I previously thought. The checkpoint buzzes with disdain. A message flashes up. “Wrong control,” it says. I frown and look helplessly at the forest. The rocks lied to me.
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