Category Archives: FPS

REVIEW: Death Quota R

If I’m going ahead and making grand assumptions1 here, I’m going to assume that the ‘R’ in Death Quota R ($1.00) almost certainly stands for Robots, as they are your main antagonist in the game. Which is a nice break from the usual zombie menace that developer Edelica Digital Bros. goes to whenever a new Death Quota must be met. Evidently, that quota is about to be reached, as this game represents the developer’s last project on XBLIG.

This also marks the third title in the series, an FPS buried under a Minecraftian layer of blocks. Yet you shouldn’t assume that you’ll be doing any crafting or remodeling here; the ‘levels’ in Death Quota R boil down to, more or less, collect-athons. Each stage finds you— or with a friend in local co-op— gathering a certain number of ‘powercores’, dodging flying drones and mowing down robotic patrols as you go (past games in the series had a similar objective). Once you’ve secured the amount that stage requires, a helicopter is summoned and sent for your extraction.

The entirely of this race to collect things takes place on a medium-sized island, teeming with alien structures and dark interiors, serene beachfront property, and… trees. Lots of trees. It’s also really familiar. Edelica has been getting quite the mileage out of that solitary map, as it’s been more or less the same since ZDQ 2 and the original Zombie Death Quota. Regardless of that familiarity, the map handles the task of hiding the powercores you seek in some out-of-the-way places without being overly annoying about it.

Combat remains as solid as ever. Besides your trusty, infinite-ammo-having handgun, you’ll have a handful of standard weapon types to switch up the killing (the loadout changes slightly for each stage), as well as scattered crates that appear periodically and / or get dropped from defeated enemies, netting you additional ammo, health kits, and powercores. If you tire of the short campaign (six levels), there’s always online battles for up to six players.

Death Quota R - Screen

That multiplayer will be hit and (mostly) miss, however, as XBLIG is perpetually vacant in its online lobbies. That leaves you with the single-player campaign, which gets highly repetitive after the first couple stages of collecting, and collecting, and collecting. Sometimes you collect more, sometimes less. The robotic sentries, too, will gradually get on your nerves, with their constant teleporting and shielding (more like taunting, the metal bastards).

It’s hard to shake the feeling of familiarity. The game looks great and handles just as well, but Death Quota R is really just more of the same idea already realized, under a semi-new coat of paint. Newcomers to the series will probably appreciate it for what it does, but if you’ve played a Death Quota game before this, don’t expect much refinement in Edelica’s XBLIG denouement.


  1. ‘Grand assumptions’ account for like, 85% of the decision-making in my life. You can probably guess how well that’s worked out for me. 
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REVIEW: Dizeaze

As developer NeuronVexx’s last game on XBLIG, Dizeaze ($1.00) fits comfortably in the ‘FPS zombie survival1‘ mold that’s come before it, similar in style to the DayZ crowd and its XBLIG brethren, such as Deadburg and ApocZ. It’s a definite change of pace from the developer’s previous projects, and there’s no doubting it’s BIG.

Dizeaze - Screen

‘Big’ if we’re stating things in total, explorable land area. Dizeaze isn’t content to set things on a small or medium-sized map; it basically asks you to survive— and travel on foot— across an entire continent filled with individual towns, cities, buildings and homes. The first time you view the map, then zoom out, you’ll be a little intimidated. It’s a pretty tall task, with miles and miles of digital real estate (read: miles and miles of boring, mostly empty forests) between you and that objective, delivering ‘the cure’ for the zombie infection you find yourself surrounded by.

‘The Cure’ is Dizeaze‘s default PvE mode, letting you roam the apocalypse solo (or with up to 8 players2), while ‘Survival’ drops the pretense of story and has you surviving as long as you can against the zombies— and other players. The world of Dizeaze is predictably vacant and ransacked. You’ll find some supplies scattered around, guns with limited ammunition, but you’ll be relying mostly on melee3 weapons and tools in a fight, or better still, running away to regroup and live another day. Of course, you do find better equipment eventually, color-coded according to their strength and rarity. You can even craft and upgrade those weapons and tools, provided you have the materials (and a workbench… oh… and available backpack space) at hand.

Dizeaze also tries for survival realism. You’re not without concerns, having to monitor your food, water, and sleep levels carefully, finding homes4 and beds to rest in, budgeting supplies and traveling during the day to avoid the larger zombie hordes at night. While scavenging, you can only carry so much stuff before it weighs you down, and with each day that passes, the world changes ever so slightly, giving increased stats to all the zombies. The message is clear; you can’t be complacent or stay in one place too long.

Dizeaze - Screen2

In practice, however, it’s more annoying than suspenseful. Survival games have always walked the line between requiring little urgency and too much of it, with the gameplay and exploration aspects designed to keep you engaged while ‘putting up’ with the constant need to find new supplies and keep moving. Dizeaze as that kind of game isn’t original, ditto for the zombies, but its scope is ambitious… perhaps too ambitious. You can only jog so many miles, rummage through so many nondescript houses, and chug so many milk cartons before the whole thing starts to feel like a chore, even if you are making slow but steady progress towards a spot on the map.

Having friends to help you loot and keep you company along the way will help, but even that can only do so much to make things interesting between the slower moments. For all it does, Dizeaze reminds me a lot of Deadburg, and I can’t help but think that’s a better game to play. To be fair, there’s more than enough options and content here to justify a $1.00 purchase, yet with a little more polish and a lot more variety, Dizeaze has the potential to be something really great. As is, sometimes it just plays like busywork.


  1. There’s a third-person view as well, allowing you to switch between the two as desired. My advice? Third-person outdoors, first-person indoors. You’re welcome. 
  2. I assume, as I never found more than two or three people in a game. Dizeaze‘s game page says eight total, and I’ll say that unless proven otherwise. 
  3. Melee combat is a weak spot for the game. It’s hard to accurately predict how your attacks will hit, and if a zombie ‘stuns’ you with its attack, you’re left defenseless for a few seconds. Against a pack of enemies, and cornered, you’re pretty much screwed. 
  4. And let me say it now; zombies spawning out of the ground inside houses and buildings is bullshit! I can appreciate the added challenge and the ‘nowhere is safe’ vibe, but it’s a little much. At least with Deadburg‘s Minecraft-ian look, it made some sense. 

REVIEW: Last Stand

As you can no doubt surmise from the screenshots, Ghere Games’ Last Stand ($1.00) is a wave shooter1 featuring the ever so undead, set in a dreary-looking underground bunker populated by yourself— the only ‘living’ resident— and a horde of snazzily-dressed yet oddly-shaped zombies. You can probably guess what happens next, and what your job in this apocalypse is going to entail.

Last Stand - Screen

Following the well-trodden path of Call of Duty‘s formula for dispatching zombies, Last Stand takes place in a series of similar (like really similar, like exactly the same) rooms, walled off by barricades that can only only be felled by the hard-earned cash2 you get from eliminating those undead. The zombies themselves will occasionally drop ammunition and temporary buffs to aid in your quest for money and bunker space, such as double cash, double-sized magazines for your guns, and an insta-kill powerup.

That money can also be used to buy a trio of new weapons beyond your trusty starting pistol; a shotgun, a semi-auto rifle (think sniper), and assault rifle. Your upgraded arsenal comes in handy, as the zombies will get more powerful as the round goes on, requiring multiple shots to finally be put down.

Last Stand - Screen2

And you’ll wish they didn’t. The combat is dull and repetitive, as are the zombies’ damage animations, strangely morphing from walking, to crawling, then back to walking as you shoot them. Add to this a lot of other annoying little issues and glitches, such as getting stuck in doorways between rooms, zombies running in place (oh, and invulnerable to boot!), weird pauses and hiccups in the game, and it all makes for a very unsatisfying experience.

One you’d be keen to avoid. It’s functional (to an extent), but cheaply done, a drag to look at in motion, and even more lifeless3 than one of the developer’s previous, Zombie Hunter IV. Even excusing the use of the undead (which I’m not) and grading it solely as a wave shooter, Last Stand isn’t very competent, or fun. At all.


  1. Sort of. There is no ‘start’ or ‘end’ to the waves; the zombies are just always around. They never leave. 
  2. There’s some good life advice in that: Something standing in your way? Throw money at it, and it will disappear. 
  3. Pun very much intended. Because it’s zombies, haha. Get it? They’re dead. No life! Lifeless! Haha. …Haha…. Ha…. … I’ll stop. 

REVIEW: Global Warfare

With XBLIG fast approaching its ‘sell your new game by this date1‘ line in the sand drawn by Microsoft, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll start seeing more side projects and games-in-perpetual-development coming to the service over the next few months, eager to get listed before the sunsetting process kicks into high(er) gear. While it’s hardly unfinished, Svantech Studios’ Global Warfare ($1.00) probably picked as good a time as any to release.

Global Warfare is a first-person shooter that lets you battle against up to eight players (or less-intelligent AI bots) online in a free-for-all setting, with four-player split-screen even being an option, if you’re so inclined. While your ‘soldier’ is the usual generic, kill-everything type2, you can choose from three weapon classes (Tommy Gun = Assault, Bulldozer = Shotgun, and Sharp Shooter = Sniper) to adapt to the fight as need be.

As per the standard rule of online shooters, killing players and bots (and um… birds too— nothing is safe) gives you experience points, which go towards ranking up your character. There’s no current reward in the game for doing so, but hey, leveling up in life is its own reward, or so I’m told. You can tinker with the match settings beforehand, altering the number of kills needed to win, say, or how many bots you’ll face off against.

Global Warfare - Screen

All of the arenas in the game offer you plenty of terrain to take cover and shoot from (with sniping fools from close range or afar feeling particularly pleasant). Two of the four maps3 are highly-reminiscent of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare maps, which isn’t a bad thing in my book. Couple that brand of FPS nostalgia with a decent, if not exactly thrilling battle against mindless AI bots, and you’ve got a pretty also-decent recipe for an FPS that handles just as well.

Of course, you could probably do better with friends or some live human competition. It remains a crime that XBLIG is all but forgotten these days, and that fact especially hurts multiplayer-focused games. It’s the same story here. But even without a community to support it, Global Warfare offers enough content (and future content) to satisfy its small asking price.


EDIT: 9/9: Global Warfare made its promised update right before the XBLIG marketplace closed down, adding two new maps to the game. ‘Area 51’ is set on a— you guessed it— secret military base with alien technology, while ‘Donarium’ is a very pretty jungle map. You now have two more reasons to enjoy an already enjoyable FPS. Screens of the new environments below!


  1. That’d be September 9th, in case you’ve forgotten. 
  2. I mean, you can change the color of your shirt in the option menu, so maybe you’re not just a generic killing machine after all! 
  3. With more on the way. The developer plans to release an update in the next month or so, tweaking some elements and adding a couple of new maps to the game. You can’t argue with that. 

REVIEW: Wizard Rage

Way back when I started this thing, back when XBLIG was still drawing some interest from Xbox 360 owners, I used to lament the lack of multiplayer support in some games. I was convinced1 that if developers chose to implement online features in games where it made sense, that it might turn around the service and give fence-sitters a reason to take a second look at XBLIG. Now skip ahead four-plus years, and here I am playing Wizard Rage ($1.00), wishing the game had an offline option. How’s that for irony?

Wizard Rage is an FPS that drops bullets from the killing menu and adds spells (because you’re a wizard, Harry!), where Xbox avatars comprise the combatants, using three different character classes to wage war against up to eight others online. And only online. That part’s important. Minus the ability to move around the gorgeous map and test out your wizarding skills— ahem, on walls and floors and such— there is no option to skirmish against any A.I.

The trio of classes to choose from offers you a decent amount of variety; the Warlock’s fireball-based spells pack a punch (at the expense of slower reloads), a Sorcerer can teleport and find targets through walls, while the Necromancer summons copies of itself to act as decoys and launches lighting bolts. No one class has a clear advantage over another2, enabling you to swap between play styles and spell types as you wish.

Wizard Rage - Screen

The map itself amplifies that approach to spontaneity, with claustrophobic stairways opening up into wider foyers and rooms. You can set traps or wall off certain areas to play defense, or rush in for the kill and then quickly teleport out of trouble. Performance-wise, the game did stutter a little when too much action was taking place on-screen, but that’s minor compared to the difficulty of finding others online to play with.

Much like other multiplayer-only games before it, your mileage with Wizard Rage will vary. The game is fun when you manage to rope a friend or two into the mix, but without that (and XBLIG’s non-existent community), you’ll never be able to even play the game in a social setting, let alone appreciate it. Four years ago, things might have been very different for Wizard Rage. Now, you might have to skip it based solely on reality. And that is a shame.


  1. Then again, I was convinced of a lot of things four years ago. And I had higher hopes for XBLIG. I think a lot of people did. Sadly, we all know how that one turned out. 
  2. Although admittedly, the bit about shooting enemy-seeking skulls as the Necromancer is a pretty good win in my book.