Gamebox 2.0: Seven Finger Bullet Edition

Spring is finally in full swing, and we got our blood pumping for the warm weather with some hot action titles. We reviewed some high flying stick finger death in a sequel to One Finger Death Punch. Unleashed a barrage of bullets as the last human piloting a spaceship in Cosmonator. Survived the wastelands in a rebuilt society in an upgraded edition to Seven: The Days Long Gone and a few other releases that we gave us a more casual experience between all the action-packed games.

 

One Finger Death Punch 2 (Zach): Silver Dollar Games is back with the sequel to their excellent two button brawler, One Finger Death Punch 2.  Maintaining the style and gameplay of the first game, both of which are still excellent, OFDP 2 puts you back up against hordes of enemies that you have to take down using only two buttons, one for left attacks and the other for right attacks.  Enemies come from both sides and you have to constantly switch buttons to keep them at bay, with a miss causing you to take a hit. While the gameplay and art style is simplistic, it’s brilliantly balanced by the range of weapons and enemies that come your way.  Some enemies require multiple hits or hits from both buttons while some are “brawlers” that require a rhythm game style mini-game to take down. There’s also a number of weapons and power-ups that you can pick up, with guns being added to the mix this time around, and everything is done in a flashy and over the top kung fu movie style.

I’ve rarely experienced getting into the zone like I have playing the first One Finger Death Punch and now it’s sequel where everything around you fades out except for the button prompts but, on the flip side, if you fall out of the zone, it can result in a quick end if you can’t get back into rhythm. There is a great tutorial that will walk you through a series of levels introducing gameplay or enemy types and then you’re free to proceed to the campaign or survival modes and see if you can rank against other players around the world on the leaderboards. One Finger Death Punch 2 is on Steam and the Humble Bundle store now and at $7.99, it’s a must buy, especially if you loved the first game as I did.

 

Cosmonator (Chris): When Earth is destroyed, a lone pilot continues the fight and avenges the lost planet in Cosmonator. Developed by Bourbontank, Cosmonator is a top-down shoot-em-up with retro visuals and fast-paced gameplay. The plot of the game is kept to a minimum and focuses heavily on the gameplay. The design of the game follows in the footsteps of traditional bullet hell style games. The main objective is to survive waves of enemies while flying towards the end of the level, usually completing the end by defeating a boss. Along the way, players can take out optional targets to gain cash and exchange it for upgrades. 

There is surprisingly deep level customization in this small indie title. A lot of thought has gone into giving the player lots of options to change small mechanics that add up in battle. The spaceship’s attack and defenses are all upgradable and range from health points, charge times and drone partners. There are also weapons and spells that can be purchased and enhanced. Weapons can alter the behavior of the default space attacks like bullet patterns and laser beams. Spells can add additional attacks or boost defenses that require some resource management to be effective in combat. 

Cosmonator absolutely nails the feel of classic top-down shooting games, with a ton of exciting extras that make the game feel very modern with the times. The game offers a fun challenge that doesn’t punish the player for trying and gives them lots of choices to improve their gameplay. Fans that enjoyed the hectic bullet dodging mayhem should check out what  Bourbontank has brought to the table.

 

Seven: Enhanced Edition (Zach): Fool’s Theory & IMGN.PRO released Seven: The Days Long Gone for PC back in December 2017 but last month they put out a new “enhanced edition” that provided current owners with a free upgrade and new owners with an improved and deeper game than before on PC and PS4.  Seven takes place in a universe where humanity has been rebuilt into the Vetrall Empire after a devastating war in the past almost wiped them out. You play as a thief named Teriel, who pulls a heist to steal an artifact from an aristocrat’s mansion and ends up on the prison island Peh with a daemon inside his head.  Teriel is given a quest by the daemon that could change the future of the Empire forever. Seven plays in an isometric perspective that will feel familiar for old school fans of stuff like Diablo or Fallout but the big difference from those games is that Seven is an action RPG with a heavy emphasis on stealth where you can explore an open world and engage enemies in real time.

Being a thief, there’s also a fun mechanic where Teriel can pickpocket almost anyone in the world and get some quick cash and useful items, but you have to be careful they don’t turn around and catch you. Teriel can also engage in some Assassin’s Creed style parkour and even has a similar mechanic where you can, on the Xbox controller, hold down the right trigger to run and climb, giving you many more ways to traverse and explore than in a typical isometric game.  There is a ton of sidequests to take up and plenty to do for players who want to get deep into an RPG and the Enhanced Edition includes a DLC expansion that adds even more story. Seven: The Days Long Gone is an interesting spin on the classic isometric style gameplay gamers have experienced for years and if you’re looking for a jam-packed RPG to lose hours in, Seven: Enhanced Edition seems like one to check out.

 

Fast Food Fighters (Chris): When a group of animals take up arms against the cruel fast food overlords, it’s a fight for freedom or become someone’s feast. Unstoppable Studio presents their take on a rogue-like, run-and-gun crawler with great hand-drawn visuals and a slapstick premise. As of now, the game has five characters to choose from, each with different stats in health, attack, and mobility. The Pig and the Cow have higher health points but are slower. The Chicken and the Rabbit have medium health and attack but have high mobility. And the Fish is surprisingly balanced for being on land.

Fast Food Fighters is in early access, with monthly updates coming from the devs since it first was released in February of this year.  There are some nice ideas in the game that are fun, like the settings and character but the gameplay is a little off balanced. The randomly generated rooms had either a lot of enemies crowding hallway or none at all. I enjoyed the different types of characters I can play as, that each had different play styles and weapons. I hope as development gets further along, there will be more improvements to the decent framework showed in the early access version.

 

Zombotron (Zach): If you spent any time online at Armor Games, Newgrounds or Kongregate, you probably played one of the Zombotron games or one of the other games by developer Ant.Karlov.  This week Zombotron hit PC on Steam, Humble Bundle and Kartridge with the biggest and best-looking entry in the series.  You play as mercenary Blaze Rush, who answers a distress call coming from the planet Zombotron and finds a mysterious and ancient crash site that is full of weird and deadly creatures.  Blaze has to dive into the depths of the wreck and figure out what happened and who, or what, activated the distress signal.

The game is a run and gun shooter where you have a full range of aim via either the right analog stick on a controller or your mouse if you are using a keyboard.  There’s a physics system in place as well that lets you break boxes, smash supports and blow up explosives and there are some fun and wacky results that can occur, like knocking down a bridge and smashing an enemy in the face.  There’s a little bit of wonkiness as a result as well but nothing that hinders progress or causes any issues in combat.  Blaze finds an assortment of weapons and equipment and you can equip four items for quick access with your inventory available one button away.  There’s loot like armor that adds different perks and stats and you can customize Blaze with equipment to match your playstyle, although it doesn’t seem as deep as something like a Metroid or Castlevania and there also doesn’t seem to be a lot of puzzle solving, at least to start with.  There are tons of secrets in each huge level and the story, while not the most original, does a good job of stringing you along and wanting to keep exploring and uncovering the mystery of the game. Zombotron is a fun run and gun platformer with a cool art style and solid gameplay and a cool world to explore and uncover the secrets of.

 

Assault on Metaltron (Chris): When humans and orcs invade the peaceful planet Metaltron, its up to a metal Golem to build up the defenses to fend off the invaders in Assault on Metaltron by Blue Sunset Games. Assault on Metaltron is a tower defense strategy title. The game is set on the robotic planet of Metaltron, with resources that have attracted two invading forces. A Golem with some flashy dance moves is tasked to protect the Metaltron with a multitude of turrets and traps at its disposal.

For this review, I had a Switch review copy of Assault on Metaltron. The game let me control the Golem manually, which meant having the move around the level to activate each build spot. It was very easy to maneuver through the levels with the controllers, as opposed to the hotkeys and the fast clicking of a mouse and Assault on Metaltron fits right at home with the family-friendly nature of the Switch. Besides the main game, there is a Skirmish mode that lets players challenge their defense skills and a couch co-op option that lets two players work together. Blue Sunset Games offers a bright and cheery environment in Assault on Metaltron. The character designs and the sound effects are whacky and its a casual strategy game experience.

Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2! (Chris): There is nothing more panic-inducing for a restaurant owner than a line packed with hungry angry people and a dirty toilet that needs cleaning, and there is no one else to help. Vertigo Gaming Inc. brings Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2! to the consoles for a second helping of crazy restaurant management. Taking the role of a new restaurant owner, you will be handling all the responsibilities of operating many aspects of a restaurant. Cooking, cleaning, maintenance, and the occasional disgruntled guest.

Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2! blends a cooking simulator with fast paced arcade mechanics that has the player hopping through menus, quickly tapping buttons and assembling mouth-watering food items. Food requires ingredients to be prepped, cooked and assembled in specific orders. Depending on how the restaurant is structured and what kinds of dishes are available, this process can be casual or very chaotic. Trying to juggle different orders while making sure food is cooking on time is a fine balancing act that takes some time to get used to. It took a bit for myself to get into the rhythm to making my food each time. Adding more complicated dishes would add more delays in the precious time limit, but would also give great rewards if I managed to serve it on schedule.

The first few dishes introduce the basic mechanics of the game. There is a steady increase in difficulty to later dishes. It’s a fun game to pick up and play but requires intense focus to master. I came back for more levels trying to have a perfect rush hour, seeing how many customers I can get while managing a high rating. It was fun to try different cuisines and see all the fun foodie visuals that went into the food preparation.  Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2! is an excellent title for all gamers that love addictive fast pace challenge.

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