Archive for the ‘Fighting’ Category

Gibbage Review

October 8, 2008


The things I think about Gibbage:
1. That it is very Fun with a human friend to play
2. It has some serious control issues
3. The gameplay is a cool mix of platforming and deathmatch
4. Graphics and presentation are sleek, unique, and that Gibbage has an exceptional artistic direction…but the game graphics are too small
5. Best Indie Game Music Ever!
6. That Gibbage embodies what the Indie game industry should be about: well-made, different and distinctive games, that are a true value for the amount of fun that can be had.

Does this all amount to a fantastic score and a must-buy game? Read on to Find out!

Gameplay: 6/10
Pros: Old-school / Retro twitch gameplay. Very fast and hectic. Unique yet familiar deathmatch gameplay. Plenty of levels, weapons, and great blood etc. effects. There’s nothing better than a flowery meadow getting soaked with blood and clone parts during a match.
Cons: Controls are very frustrating. Sticking to walls is very awkward…I would’ve liked to see a wall slide type mechanic al la Megaman X. Jumping as a whole is inaccurate. I was unable to consistently double jump, land jumps, etc. and found myself falling to my death (in levels where possible). The controls are made even worse by the fact that it affects playability and results in lost matches or unintended deaths. The controls also make even the lowest difficulty A.I. look like a jumping ace. This control issue is a real shame because ultimately it is the only major flaw of Gibbage. There was also the occasional collision problem in some levels, but I always managed to free myself so no big deal.

Graphics: 8/10
Pros: Amazing Art Style and presentation. Love the cartoony clones, zombies, etc. Bomb explosions are a testament to a simple yet so sweet animation/effect…I just love the way they look. Again as noted above, the playfield gets saturated with blood, body parts, etc. which is really cool. Getting a frag and seeing the cute little clone falling to pieces is very rewarding.
Cons: Art-style may not be for everyone, but screw them… Only real issue is the size of the graphics. They are too small. I think shrinking the screen/or enabling scrolling would have really helped the graphics and art style shine.

Sound/Music: 10/10
Pros: Best Theme music ever! The gibbage opening music is part James Bond Spy Movie, meets groove, meets game, meets AMAZING! It is just so damn good. Instantly catchy and memorable…and the music just starts your engine and keeps it churning round after round, level after level. The sounds are completely sufficient…don’t shine like the music, but honestly how could they?
Cons: I dare you to try and find some in this category!

Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Pros: Plenty of levels, weapons, and unique platform-collecting items and deathmatch gameplay for anyone. I found the AI to be very challenging on the lowest level (maybe I just suck) but I think there is a lot of replay value in that. The way levels are unlocked keeps you saying, “just one more to try out this new level”
Cons: The control issue is a problem. Jumping just does not feel right and there are issues…and quirks that you have to work through. Online Multiplayer would have been REALLY Nice, but I understand how hard it would’ve been and Gibbage, believe it or not, was made by only one person. That being said, I think Gibbage’s gameplay could easily support 4 player deathmatch locally and online. Maybe these are just hopes and dreams…or for gibbage 2. 4-player would also make the graphics small size more excusable. While you are at it, some customizable match settings would be nice… i.e. first to 10 frags, or 10 lives, no collecting crystals, starting weapons, etc. would be really sweet! Not really critiques, so much as suggestions for the next Gibbage.

Average: 82.50%
Tilt: +4.50%

Gibbage, to me, is a symbol of what Indie games should be about: Unique games that are a great value, not some new match 3 clone or some ridiculously frilly and soul-less casual game (sorry bedazzled, bejeweled, whatever). Gibbage is very much a gamer’s game. You know a category I don’t have…value. Gibbage is only 6 pounds or about $10 and offers a lot and would score a perfect 10 in such a Value category. Gibbage features: 27 levels and tons of power-ups and weapons…yes online multiplayer would be sweet…and 4-player would be great…and both together would be an absolute “fun-gasm” (regardless of the control issues) but the game is only $10 so how can you really penalize it for not offering the features of a $60 Xbox 360 game or even a $20-$30 other PC indie title… you can’t. How can you not want to support a guy who makes a game like this by himself? and runs a pretty darn good Indie Game Blog at that?…you can’t, so download the Gibbage Demo and try it out… if you don’t absolutely hate the controls…and can learn to sort of work around them….then you should invest in Gibbage, because an investment in fun is always…well fun.

Verdict: 87%



Toribash Review

October 7, 2008
Toribash by Nabistudio Download Website

Toribash is sort of a game sort of a simulation…I’m not really sure what it is..but it is definitely unique, an acquired test, and quite entertaining…though not really a game. It is described to me in an email as a unique turn-based fighter. That is actually a very concise and fitting description. You take turns affecting the physics of your fighter (or fighters). This is done by simply clicking a body part. You press space and the simulation iterates until the battle is over. YOu are then left with a battle simulation and replay that you can save. Very Unique Graphics, great physics, quirky idea…and ultimately hard to review…

Gameplay: 5/10
Pros: Very unique. I don’t think I’ve ever played a “turn-based fighter.” And the physics engine is excellent. The replays online are amazing and I loved watching them.
Cons: The gameplay is click this click that…and I get really impatient before the round is over. The commitment involved to alter each muscle is too much. I really wanted to be able to click a body part and drag and rotate it where I wanted to. It’s an acquired taste, but managing each muscle every move isn’t really for everyone.

Graphics: 8/10
Pros: Again Unique (you’ll see that come up a lot) and minimalistic. I think the style actually works really well for the game. The blood and movements can be quirky and hokey and the graphics complement that. Again, physics shine through and the ragdoll “dummy” characters animate incredibly well.
Cons: Graphics feel like placeholder graphics. Something a studio puts in to be functional and then after the gameplay is in there…they make it look sleeker. Looks like a tech demo. No background at all.

Sound/Music: 6/10
Pros: all the smack, whoosh, crunch, bash, etc. sounds found in the typical fighters make it into the game…very satisfying
Cons: Music is a very repetitive (if faint) drumming.

Lasting Appeal: 7/10
Pros: If you download the demo and like the game you can have a blast making your own fighting videos and playing people online multiplayer.
Cons: As stated earlier, I get bored clicking body parts mid-round and would prefer to watch the replays rather than make them. Not a plethora of options/features: single player, multiplayer…that’s it.

Average: 65.00%
Tilt: =/- 0.00%

This game is like nothing you’ve ever played! and that’s both good and bad. Download the demo…if you like that….buy it. If you try the demo and get bored of it…don’t buy it. The purchase of this game depends entirely on your patience level and enjoyment of “turn-based fighting.” I think this idea is great, but felt the controls were clunky- it’s hard to get your guy to punch and kick and do what you want….though other people have obviously figured it out (see replays). I just don’t have the patience to do it. Yes, I managed to kick someone’s head off, do a jump kick, punch, etc., but did about one move and then just tapped space repeatedly to end the match. I do see the potential in this game for some though and that’s why I urge everyone to try the demo. It’s not for me and may not be for you, but some will love it!

Verdict: 65%