Experience 2D aerial combat in Rogue Aces releasing this April

Control the skies and battle your way through blistering aerial combat in the 2D procedurally generated, dogfighting arcade gameRogue Aces. Set in the slightly historical World War II, players will soar across over 100 hundred missions throughout the dangerous skies riddled with enemy bullets.

Rogue Aces – PS4, PS Vita, Switch

Publishers Curve Digital has announced the release of Rogue Aces with an exciting trailer showcasing the hectic dogfighting you’ll find in the arcade aerial combat title.

Here are a few takeaways from the announcement of Rogue Aces:

  • Over 100 procedurally generated missions including rescuing prisoners of war or fending off enemy bombers from destroying ally buildings.
  • Simple but unique control scheme has players adjusting direction and throttle control using only the two analogue sticks.
  • Limited fuel supply for each plane adds a deal of strategy when replenishing and repairing your bomber during the aerial combat and capturing of enemy bases.
  • The heated combat and acrobatic manoeuvres provide an excellent pick up and play style of gameplay, good for handhelds!

Releasing on the PS4 and PS Vita with the cross-buy/play platform, and the Switch – Rogue Aces is set for release on April 12th, 2018. With a price of £9.99/€12.99/$12.99, this aerial dogfighter looks like quite the little package of intense arcade chaos on the go.

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Samurai Riot Review – 2D Cooperative Beat’em up [PC]

Samurai Riot was released on the 13th September and is a 2D cooperative Beat’em up/Arcade game made by Wako Factory.

The story revolves around a Civil War – our role is to contribute to it ending. Torn between doing their duty and doing what is right, you have to fight your way through different levels and a boss fight at the end of each one. There is a fight between clans, and you will eventually have to pick a side. Will you stay loyal to your duties, or will you do what is right?

It’s Civil War Co-op

Making choices and encountering moral dilemmas leads to several possible endings of the game. Choose between playing as Sukane or Tsurumaru, two warriors with different traits, personalities, and a highly detailed story behind each character!

With really charming graphics, Samurai Riot offers an anime art style with beautiful scenery from Asian culture. The music is a mix of gorgeous traditional Asian music (if you’ve ever played Tengami, you can draw a reference to that) and combines it with elements of modern popular music so that it creates a certain kind of pace to your fighting, which is nice.

The cooperative system is interesting: you can combine characters’ attacks, creating the ultimate move; which can be used when filling out a shared cooperation gauge. It looks really cool and makes you feel like a total badass… So co-op actually requires working together, and not just playing on the same screen. That being said, when you have those abilities that need a charge-up, it would be nice if there was some sort of indicator, showing the range of the attack and the strength of it. That would help when planning your next move.

Samurai Riot Review
Waaaaa, hiiiiiiyaaaaah! *continuous kung fu sounds*

Multiplayer Woes

Considering that the multiplayer function is the most prominent feature of the game, it is weird, then, that the biggest problem I had with the game was actually setting it up. When I clicked to join as player two, I would start controlling the profile of the first player. After much frustration, we finally managed to enter the game as two separate players.

You can play co-op and make team-based choices, or you can fight against your partner Tekken-style. Even though it is mainly a cooperative game, the single-player version worked just fine. However, the lack of save slots was unfortunate. I could only have one save file at a time, which was inconvenient when I wanted to play by myself but have another save file where I could play with a friend. As the gameplay was highly interesting, the game controls were at times unresponsive, and when playing with another person, the controls on the keyboards became misplaced (ESDF instead of WASD) for some reason. Which was weird, considering the other player was playing on an Xbox controller.

The decisions we make throughout the game are moral questions which have consequences in the final outcome. According to the developers, there are 8 different endings to the game! With this, we can surely establish the replay-value that Samurai Riot has. The need to see every possible ending should work as a great motivator for replaying the game. As if that weren’t enough, the game also offers so-called “fighting schools”: where the more you play, the more you collect points to unlock different fighting schools to get more abilities and improvements for your character.

Samurai Riot Review
Fighting back to back makes you feel unbeatable.

Different Styles Of Gameplay

Multiplayer and single player each demand different styles of gameplay, which creates an interesting diversity. The boss encounters aren’t as good as they have the potential to be – they don’t require a certain tactic to take down, they simply have more health. Using the characters’ individual abilities to take down the boss would be more fun than just the regular old moves. Some of the units also started to annoy me – the red ranged units specifically. Fighting melee units while these were standing there, knocking me down each time, was annoying, to say the least.

The developers pride themselves on the game being one you can speedrun. But when said problems appear, and my character takes several seconds to get back up when knocked down, it makes my patience wear thin. I will give the game the benefit of the doubt that there is definitely a way of getting good, and that most of my complaints might be debunked if I were good at these types of games.

The dialogue is a little bit cliché, and considering how many samurai/ninja/kung fu games there are out on the market, I wish it stood out a little more. Yeah, “I’m gonna fight for my honour”, and all that jazz.

Samurai Riot is a very pretty game though, with a really interesting take on cooperative beat’em up gameplay. It has high entertainment value and makes the player feel like Jackie Chan at times.

What’s with that fat racoon stealing all my food, though?

A Look at 2 New NES Cartridge Titles from Mega Cat Studios

Mega Cat Studios has been hard at work building a collection of retro cartridge titles to add to your dusty library of classics. Bringing back the true nature of traditional pixellated gaming, these developers are hoping to grab the attention of the old-school ‘fanboys’ of yesteryear; while reeling in the newcomers who have grown to love the classic retro mechanics found in countless indie titles to date.

I recently had the opportunity to play through a couple of titles from the Mega Cat collection, the first being the arcade sporting competition – Log Jammers; followed by the beat em’ up martial arts adventure – Almost Hero. Along with the games, customers have the option to receive the full package including the cartridge game, the game manual and art box for safe keeping. Just like the early days of living room consoles, the instruction manual proves helpful when the ever-present question of “how do I?” sets in, while the box provides important storing to keep the dust and other particles from damaging your expensive retro title.

Log Jammers

Log Jammers is a fast-paced arcade sporting title unlike any other in the NES sports game collection. Choosing between six creatively named and unique athletes, you’ll compete in a simple sporting event which includes chucking wood-cutting axes into one another’s goal. After 3 sets played to 12 have been won, the match is over. Though the rules are simple, plenty of arcade like power-ups drift across the playing field, to further enhance the gameplay.

There’s not much to Log Jammers, and while simple and to the point, it’s easy to spend countless hours on this title, either playing against AI or running your own tournaments with friends in 2-player mode. If audacious enough to pull through the single player tournament, the final big-bearded lumberjack contestant should prove a difficult challenge for any hard-core sporting competitor. Either way, this new retro cartridge title is well worth the time digging up your old Nintendo hardware.

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Almost Hero

In Almost Hero players will fight off evildoers and bring back the rather specific and long-lost art of Bonsai Tree decorating. With a loose and humorous narrative, this entertaining martial arts style action side-scroller is packed with challenging bosses and enemies, as well as clever nods to legendary throwback gaming icons.

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Through 5 levels where waves of enemies are set to stand in your way, it’s your role to help the creative Master Chow Khan retrieve his bonsai seeds from the vile antagonist – McRibs. Various bosses and themes poking at different themes across the gaming universe, light dustings of TMNT, Pokemon or Super Mario are found throughout the addictive title.

Making your way through brutal dungeons, coin and loot are collected to help aid you along your journey. By returning to Master Khan, you are able to purchase different health items which you may only carry one, as well as different character enhancements, like the traditional ‘speed shoes’ – giving your character improved speed and quickness. Anything and everything proves useful when challenged by the powerful villain, McRibs, and his quirky henchman. Almost Hero is a short and sweet adventure title, leaving a sense of nostalgia and familiarity borrowed from other arcade beat em’ ups from the NES era.

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Mega Cat Studios has a long list of more retro based titles on the way, and even a handful more set to release in 2017. Keep updated with D-pad Joy as we bring you more news and reviews on the yet to be released cartridge titles from the up and coming indie developers, Mega Cat Studios.

Danmaku Unlimited 3 Review – An Exciting Addition to Bullet Hell Shooters (iOS)

Intense bullet hell shooters bring a much-needed adrenaline rush to the category of casual games. Doragon Entertainment has pushed the limit of how mobile style games generate addictive and thrilling experiences, by providing an arcade style shooter that leaves your heart pounding in an awe of gorgeous colours and visuals in, Danmaku Unlimited 3.

Piloting an agile spaceship, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a storm of bullets and projectiles fired from a fleet of opponents and enemy ships. High octane rock music fuels the adrenaline filled levels as you’ll desperately guide your ship back and forth through hordes of darting bullets laid out in spectacular designs, while delivering every ounce of destruction capable in your various streams of gunfire.

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Through five different stages, the player uses a wave of bullets stretched across the game screen, as well as the option to switch to a sizable beam delivering an accurate source of damage on whoever sits in your way. Also found throughout the levels are bombs, where once obtained, you’ll be able to detonate a powerful explosion surrounding the area around the player’s spaceship. The bomb is a sure way to make quick work of the enemy ships zeroing in too close.

With the unique Spirit/Graze system, you’re able to counter attack your opponents by using the enemy projectiles to charge up your Trance Gauge. Flying too close to bullets, or grazing them, the Trance meter will start to fill. Once filled and engaged, your ship is charged with enhanced firepower, also destroying all ships in sight and turning them into valuable gems and points, to further increase your score.

Waiting at the end of each level are multi-phased boss ships capable of dealing mesmerizing bullet patterns, sometimes filling the screen with colourful explosions and fire-power. Quick lasers, a volley of torrential bullets and heavy-duty explosions are common in Danmaku Unlimited 3, so you’ll have to make good use of strategy and keen reflexes as you dip and dodge appropriately through the maze of bullets and projectiles.

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A range of difficulty comes provided with Danmaku Unlimited 3, making sure players of all skill levels may adapt to the high-energy arcade title. Spirit Mode and Graze Mode separates the casual from the hardcore, creating an excellent balance of challenges for the long-time fans, or the newcomers who are getting acquainted with the unique style of play. Also included is a healthy dose of weapon combinations, changing the spread layout of your primary guns, the beam intensity or perhaps the number of beams fired from your ship. Unlocked in various ways throughout the game, these weapon combos give players enhanced action and battle tactics when pushing further into more challenging areas of the game.

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In a flurry of bullets comes Doragon Entertainment‘s next arcade shooter in the acclaimed bullet hell series. With a scorching soundtrack, high-energy gameplay, tight controls and gorgeous visuals to back it all up, Danmaku Unlimited 3 delivers a fierce experience not typically found in the world of mobile gaming; one any dedicated mobile gamer can’t miss.

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