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Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

This review was written by request for Kimberly Amato of Pac-Man & the Hot One. That was fine with me because Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is just too good. And if you disagree, you’re just wrong.

The review is being hosted on her site. I definitely think you need to check this game out but if you want to see everything I had to say about it check out MY REVIEW OF EARTH DEFENSE FORCE: INSECT ARMAGEDDON

Honour is My Shield

Kill Team is not an indie game by any stretch of the term; it’s published by THQ and GamesWorkshop is the kingpin of war gaming. However it is no secret that I am a huge fan of 40k, (who else has a tattoo of an orc on their arm?) so I had to say a little something about it just out of sheer excitement.

Picking up from my short comments the other day, Kill Team controls like Smash TV, but plays more like the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games. It’s a run and gun, frag fest where one stick controls movement and the other controls firing. And that would be enough, but to round out the game a bit, they threw in some light customization options. Not quite as many as MUA, but enough to keep it from getting bland. There’s also co-op, and a survival mode with online leaderboards.

There are 4 different characters to choose from and 2 basic styles of play. The Librarian and Vanguard Veteran focus on melee combat, while the Sternguard Veteran and Techmarine have more powerful ranged weaponry. Better weapons and perks for your marine can be unlocked through gameplay to further suit your character to your style. Enhanced melee damage, more health, longer power ups, to name a few. Also, each class has a specific special attack that will quickly dispatch a large chunk of the green horde. Librarians unleash a psychic shockwave, sending everything surrounding them flying. Vanguard Veterans tear ass around with their jump pack, finally landing and blasting away a cluster of greenskins. Techmarines quickly construct a twin-linked heavy bolter turret to help fend off foes from multiple directions. Finally, my favorite, the Sternguard Veteran has the focus fire ability which really amps up your rate of fire, allowing you a lay down a deadly hail of heavy bolter rounds, laying waste to all in your sights.

There are a few minor details that irk me. Being a 40k fan, I feel they could have made the weapon load outs more accurate.  I admit the only people that are really going to notice this are 40k fans,  and this may be nitpicking, but I don’t see anyone buying this game if they aren’t a 40k fan anyway. The Vanguard Veteran is ranked the highest for melee, but he is armed with a chainsword and plasma pistol. The Librarian has stronger ranged attacks, but weaker melee yet he is armed with a power sword and a bolt pistol.  It seems to me they should give the Vanguard the bolt pistol and the Librarian the plasma pistol as a more accurate representation of their stats. Their swords get upgraded anyway, so only their default weapons need retooling, maybe just start them both with chainswords. And as for the Techmarine, the servo arm should be way more powerful. This is no way affects my overall enjoyment of the game, it’s just a minor detail and I do not consider it a strike against them.

However, I do have 2 small complaints that ARE somewhat bothersome. It is too easy to get all the unlockables and they are not character specific as you get them. Allow me to explain. Playing through as the Sternguard let’s say, I can can get every unlock for every character. I  should only be unlocking upgrades to ranged weaponry. Not only is this less of a challenge, but subsequent playthroughs with other characters will feel less rewarding because now I have nothing new to achieve. My other big complaint is the self inflicted death rate is too high. These types of games always have copious amounts of exploding barrels littered about, which I should have expected, and within 5 minutes of my first game session, I was KIA; death by barrel blast. Whatever. That was my own stupidity, but with the unending rain of gunfire, it just means you need to more careful about stray rounds. The other method of self inflicted death is far more insidious and aggravating. It is too easy to fall. This isn’t a platforming game and I never have to jump. I shouldn’t even have the option to fall off any ledges. Maybe some of you will never come across this issue, but I am an insane completionist and I must find every little secret. Fall to death ratio – about 50%.  Getting cut down from a rampaging mob of Orks is to be expected. Not searching behind a large pipe only to fall of the world.

Despite the fact that I’m very good at singling out things that bother me, I’ve had much fun with Kill Team so far. I assure you, those are the only negative aspects I’ve come across and they really are quite minor.  It’s really easy to pick up and play without getting bogged down by endless menus, but customizable enough to where is doesn’t feel too simple.  With each stage coming in at around 20-45 minutes play time, you don’t have to devote an entire day to it either. And the survival mode is good for a quick fix if you have even less time than that. Regardless of how much time you have, it’s total nonstop action the whole way through alone or with a friend.  All said and done, definitely worth the 10 bucks you’ll spend on either the PSN or XBLA and it only makes me more anxious for Space Marine to come out in September.

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Yeah uh… Thanks for reading!

I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1

Issue #2

Perhaps the best dollar I’ve ever spent was on this game. Now go ahead, think about that. When was the last time you said you spent only a dollar and were completely satisfied. Even a bottle of soda generally will cost $1.25 or more and those are only temporary. 16 oz. only lasts so long and if you share it with someone, your reducing your satisfaction level; however, sharing this game actually brings your satisfaction level over 9000! Unless I was in the middle of the desert, dehydration enveloping me in its death grip, that dollar could be no better spent. But there’s no vending machines in the middle of the desert anyway, so I maintain it was my wisest dollar purchase ever.

There’s no doubt that the zombie apocalypse is coming (see ref. Zombie Survival Guide) Or in some cases is already here. I’m pretty certain that everyone in Canada is a zombie. Beware our neighbors to the north! But I digress. So with everyone’s rising interest in the oncoming zombie hoard, pop media in all its forms became flooded with zombies. Call of Duty: World at War and Left 4 Dead weren’t the first games to include killing tons of zombies, but they were perhaps the most influential of this generation. Thus opening the gateway for Ska-Studios to develop, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1  Around the same time, another game simply named, Zombie Apocalypse was released. They both offer a similar style of gameplay, but IMaGWZ1i is by far the most gratifying shoot ’em up out there. Especially if you use a cost vs. fun ratio. Please refer to chart A-1 which I made using MS Paint.

*A-1

As you can see they are pretty close in fun factor, hovering somewhere between a 7 and 8. However, Zombie Apocalypse costs 800 Microsoft points ($10) and IMaGWZ1i is 80($1), IMaGWZ1i has an astoundingly high positive CvF  (cost vs. fun) differential of +6.5, while ZAs CvF is actually negative. That means IMaGWZ1i is nearly 217% more fun per dollar!

Even though Zombie Apocalypse came out only a month later,  I’m going to claim that they completely copied IMaGWZ1i, and with their larger budget, were able to work on it an accelerated schedule to get the game released in just over a month. They both share the same concept; kill wave after wave of zombies. They both have a similar weapon loadout; machine guns, flamethrowers, shotguns, etc. IMaGWZ1i just executes it better.

Now despite what I may have lead you to believe, this game really isn’t about the zombie apocalypse, but there are definitely zombies in it, and you must kill them, all of them. You get thrown in without any explanation of what to do, but do you need one? Controls are simple, left stick is movement and right stick shoots. I really like this control scheme. It’s been around awhile but more and more games are using it now. The ease of its style makes it easier to just get into the combat and have fun without being bogged down with too many commands. There are plenty of powerups to help keep up the fight against the hoard; there is almost never a moment when there isn’t a new powerup popping up somewhere on the screen, often there are a dozen or so, and they are all necessary because there is also never a moment when the screen isn’t littered with things that want to kill you. And thats pretty much how you play the game. You spend your time running from powerup to powerup, dodging and killing as many zombies as you can in between.

Taking graphics out of consideration, the visuals are quite amazing. That is to say, if you were ever uncertain if a game could give you a seizure, this is the game to play.  Seriously, this is a warning. If you have any friends with epilepsy and you want a good laugh, invite them over to enjoy up to 4 player co-op. Without giving too much away, there are far more enemies in this game than just zombies. After the first wave, everything becomes complete nonsense and it only gets worse as time goes on. Confusion takes  center stage pretty quickly; you’re not sure what’s happening and are rarely able to accurately locate yourself on the screen and if you are playing with 4 people, it’s utter chaos, especially when anger mode starts.

The soundtrack is awesome. You can check it out yourself here. It’s a catchy little ditty about the game itself and often I find myself playing just to hear the song. On a side note, an odd point about the game is that the soundtrack is as long as the game itself. The game just ends. You either die or survive the predetermined time limit and are awarded your final score. This is by no means a strike against the game. It has just the right amount of gameplay to not get annoying or boring. If it dragged on any longer than it does, it would become sorely tedious. Whether it was because the developers had the keen sense to see ahead, or because of budget concerns or what have you, this is the most neatly wrapped up game you can buy for a dollar. And you should buy it…now… it’s only a dollar.

Please feel free to leave any comments/suggestions/ideas/yell at me.  A like on facebook would be awesome, but subscribing would be more awesome!

Thanks for reading!

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