Sunday, April 29, 2007

Download of the week: Engage to Jabberwock (PC)

Engage to Jabberwock is a freeware game from Japanese developer Platine Dispositif. It is, in short, a bullet-hell Zelda. No, seriously. In the game you roam a large 2D dungeon, blasting enemies with various magic spells, collecting items on the way. Essential, and pretty. Make sure to change the control setting to keyboard before playing.

Download Engage to Jabberwock (4 MB) by clicking here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Download of the week: Force Majeure (PC)

If you like shooters with lots of bullets, nice pixel art and good music, Force Majeure is for you. Swedish developers Monokey are also responsible for Loveless and Bollen, and I recommend trying them as well if you haven't already.

Get the Force Majeure demo by clicking here (11 MB).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

2nd Download of the week:
Super Haunted Insomnia Tower (PC)

Even though the acronym of this game is (literally) "SHIT", it's still one the best name ever (Zombie vs. Ambulance was a great name, too). Super Haunted Insomnia Tower has more than a hint of Ice Climber elements to it, and is nearly as frustrating. Your goal is to guide the funny looking yellow character up the haunted tower, where 10 different fiends (all with unique powers) try to bring you down. As in Kid Icarus, you can warp from the left side of the screen to the right side and vice versa. While controls are a bit on the slippery side, you should try this game, if not just to hear the music.

Download Super Haunted Insomnia Tower here (2.5 MB).

Monday, April 9, 2007

Download of the week: Cortex Command (PC)

Cortex Command is an amazing pixel physics game from Data Realms. After going through a major physics overhaul, it's really starting to come together. This is gory multiplayer action where you maneuver rockets, robots and soldiers against your opponent. At the same time, you must protect your brain located in your base (hence the name) while buying and equipping troops to attack your enemy's base.
I recommend reading the instructions first. This version (build 13) features multiplayer skirmish and co-operative play with up to 4 friends in split-screen. Enjoy.

Download the latest build (15 MB) by clicking here.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (DS)

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 for the Nintendo DS is a lot like its older siblings, only uglier and not as talented. Being the youngest and weakest in the family is never easy. While looking outdated and stripped of gameplay mechanics, it's still a decent sports game, and it plays just like the other versions. When it comes to basic gameplay, it's accessible and uncomplicated to play. The most apparent issue is the artificial intelligence of the players, especially the goalkeepers, who can't be trusted at all. By that, shooting and scoring is exceptionally easy. On lower difficulty settings, some players tend to stand around doing nothing, not reacting when someone dribbles past them. However, there's always wi-fi multiplayer to make up for that inconvenience.

Framerate problems are also an issue, occurring when there are too many players on screen. How many? Seven. Corner kicks and the like are therefore a harsh slowdown affair. Sound is terrible, with irritating, looped crowd noise that sounds like something you find in between radio stations. I don't know much about audio design, but I do know that looped segments of sound should be subtle to make the looping less obvious, which isn't the case here. Even though PES 6 is an audiovisual nightmare at times, it's both engaging and fun to play. Perhaps Sensible Soccer would have been a more fitting title for the DS? Think about it, Konami.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Random Encounter: Rock Band (360/PS3)

It's always sweet when you're able to foresee the future, and some time ago, one of my many premonitions came true. Alas, a rock band videogame will be born.
And so it was. The creators of
Guitar Hero have announced that they will release a game unlike any game previously seen in the music game genre; four players will be able to gig at the same time in unison as a rock band. When it comes to instruments it will be the standard rock band setup, one guitarist, one bassist, one drummer and one vocalist. How the game will look remains a mystery, but the creators have promised that all "band members" will be able to play after the same note streaks to avoid clogging up the screen with four different streaks of notes.

Personally I think
Rock Band is going to be a wicked game - it will drain even more hours from normal civilized conversation and replace them with mindless toy-instrument bashing, not forgetting the good old strangled-cat vocals that people will try to force from their alcohol infested breathe. So if you think that your parties wasn't silly enough when you had Sing Star and Guitar Hero, this will take you and your friends to the next level of wannabe rock stardom…

A Slime Appears: Easter update

Easter is here, and the first non-game related post makes its way onto A Slime Appears. There are going to be some changes ahead (nothing radical, just improvements) regarding contributors and design, hopefully for the better. No reviews for a while, due to lack of time and reasonable games to play, but we will be posting reviews of Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (DS) and Puzzle Quest (PSP/DS) very soon. A new feature called Random Encounters debuts this week, where my good friend Johannes rants about games in general or stuff in the periphery. It's not a news post, it's not an article, but it's something. Watch this space.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

2nd Download of the week: Skyhammer (PC)

Here's a little Easter egg for the holidays, cause we know days pass slow.
Once upon a time, there was a game called
Skyhammer. It was never finished. However, there's a demo of some sort (it's actually the unfinished game, in its whole) floating around out there. According to the author, the demo has about 45 minutes of gameplay. Get it, it's absolutely beautiful.

Click here to download Skyhammer (2 MB).

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Review: Hotel Dusk - Room 215 (DS)

A text-heavy, linear, slow-burning, dialogue-driven point-and-click adventure. Does that sound interesting? I was really looking forward to
Hotel Dusk since the studio behind it, Cing, delivered Another Code (also known as Trace Memory) two years prior to this release, received as one of the best adventure titles for the DS. But, having spent a decent amount of time with Hotel Dusk in airports and other soul-diminishing locales,
I think they might have been aiming too high with Hotel Dusk.

Hotel Dusk is presented in an original way, though. The
DS is held sideways like an interactive novel, with animated pencil sketches portraying the events and conversations taking place. You play as Kyle Hyde (yeah, I know, just let it go), a door-to-door salesman by trade, who three years earlier served as a cop for the NYPD. Unable to let go of his past, he's soon dragged into a strange turn of events at the hotel.
The developers has dropped the top-down perspective of Another Code in favour of first-person navigation through the environments, giving the player more immediate control over what to investigate. And while 3D movement equals more running into pixelated walls freedom, the graphics are rather crude.

is typical for its genre, with advancement through talking to characters, finding clues and solving puzzles. While there are too few of the puzzles,
the conversations are engaging and very well-written. The people in Hotel Dusk are sympathetic and likeable
characters, and you really feel the urge to know their story, which is rare in games. Since the unskippable conversations slow flow of dialogue really forces the player to adapt to its pace, many gamers will feel obstructed and frustrated, but at the end of the day, we need more games like Hotel Dusk. It's an aquired taste.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Internet game of the week: Castlevania (Flash)

Castlevania - The Blood Way... How's that for a title? Based upon the classic Castlevania series, The Blood Way is set in Eastern Europe, 1856, where Transylvania is struck by terror. To no surprise, it's count Dracula versus the Belmont family once again. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bugs present in this Flash game. Nonetheless,
it beats work or studying.

Click here to play Castlevania.