Tag Archives: Fight Club

REVIEW: Ultimate Drunken Warrior

That old saying, how you always hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways. The developer of Ultimate Drunken Warrior ($1.00) is NeuronVexx, the same man behind the Terraria-like, create-a-world indie Dinora. Despite some flaws, and the not-exactly-original idea, that game gave you a pretty expansive sandbox that you could literally still be playing now, and not ever build the same world twice. It was impressive, another avenue that opened up to show what XBLIG developers could do.

And now, we get Ultimate Drunken Warrior. Eh… Dinora this ain’t. On the completely opposite end of the room, wearing a bright green (and oh so controversial) mankini and baiting you with its pseudo-edginess, UDW is nothing special or inspirational. Letting you choose your level of drunkenness (i.e., how annoying you want your controls to feel) after a night of pub crawling, it’s a bare-bones tournament fighter for up to 16 intoxicated souls, locally.

Both the playing style (direct control of each appendage) and art recall Mount Your Friends, which I have to admit seems like it should be on the leaderboard compared to Ultimate Drunken Warrior’s offering. Both games use ‘ragdoll’ movement to control their respective men. In UDW’s case, it’s to move the feet one at a time, or stumble around the screen in a slow shuffle. Fights are remarkably dull, swinging your character’s arms around in a stupor until someone eventually wins.

Ultimate Drunken Warrior - Screen

That is, assuming you can rope a friend into joining you. There’s no AI fighters to spar against, and the game is just barely playable alone, only in smashing crates in a vague reference to ‘training’. Your score isn’t kept, and there’s no penalty or reward for even attempting it. It’s simply there to provide meat for the demo. Considering the competitive side isn’t much better, the whole thing feels like a lost cause from the start.

Ultimate Drunken Warrior is the sort of juvenile amusement that might entertain some for a few minutes, were it not constructed in the cheapest way possible and costing you a dollar. As is, it’s a low-rent idea the channel could do without.

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REVIEW: The Keep: Zombie Horde

I have to think by now Sick Kreations is gaslighting us all. I’ve run two different articles previewing the gorgeous Aliens Vs. Romans, certain it’s the next release from the studio (hell, there’s even a fresh trailer for the game), only to be shown I’m full of it. First, there was the unnecessary End of Days-themed zombie shooter, and now that’s been followed by yet another wave shooter featuring undead, The Keep: Zombie Horde (80 MSP). This one seems to be co-developed, but… I’m audibly sighing right now. One of these days, A vs. R, I swear I’ll see you. I mean, the trailer says April. It has to happen, right?

The Keep - Screen

Back on topic, though, The Keep follows the well-tread wave sho— such-and-such (I’m tired of writing it out), route with almost no deviation. You’re a guy (part of the Citizen Protection Force, short for ‘because you need the work’), shooting zombies and protecting civilians flocking to your ‘castle’, presumably the last safe haven. You earn money based on how many of those people survive, which you then spend on guns (standard assortment, including RPGs and grenades) and ammunition during the interlude between jobs. Every other wave, you’ll get a bonus stage where you’ll take control of a machine gun and mow down the brain-dead multitudes. The more undead you take down here, the more survivors you’ll have the chance to save next round.

Though much like End of Days: Survivor, The Keep believes you can’t have too much of a good thing (i.e. zombies), and it’s wrong. The game adopts and doctors the seventh rule of Fight Club for itself; waves will go on as long as they have to, which is probably much longer than you’ll want (I am Jack’s irrepressible boredom). If a steady rotation of 5+ minute rounds, spent locked in a box picking off zombies, listening to the same artificially-tense music clip on a loop sounds like fun to you, then you’re The Keep’s target audience, and extremely easy to please.

The Keep - Screen2

Mo’ survivors means mo’ money means longer waves means mo’ problems.

Even the handgun, the quintessential starting gun for virtually every shooter, is nerfed for The Keep. Rather than supply you with unlimited rounds, as most games do, you’ll have to ration shots and purchase ammo after each wave. Problem is, with the waves lasting so long in between those store visits, you can find yourself shooting blanks if you’re not a shrewd planner. It’s easier said, but do keep plenty of bullets in reserve. For the bigger guns, too, expect to pay even more for the ammo. The game leaves you an out— a knife for melee attacks, but again, you probably don’t want to spend several minutes waiting for, and stabbing, every zombie that clambers up your castle wall.

I hate to be the bearer of bad reviews, but once again, the developer(s) has(have) released a competent but entirely unnecessary wave shooter with The Keep, one with almost no reason to spend meaningful time with, other than to test fire all the guns just to say you did. Not a terrible game, but let’s hope that the studio’s schedule between now and Aliens Vs. Romans is completely clear.

REVIEW: The 4th Wall

I would’ve demoed The 4th Wall (80 MSP) regardless, but when something looks this blatantly strange and gets all dodgy and interrogative, my involvement is a foregone conclusion. What lies beyond The 4th Wall? asks the marketplace description. Indeed.

A remake with better art and more content (the PC original can be found here, for the extra curious), the game could be described as a first-person ‘puzzle’ (the developer has coined it an ‘abstract horror puzzler’), but that’s not entirely truthful. The only ‘puzzle’ comes in the form of a maze, the rest boils down to trial and error and weirdness, so I had to go and create a new designation for the game— ‘Other’.

And unfortunately, I must invoke the first rule of Fight Club, as to talk about The 4th Wall is to spoil playing The 4th Wall. You’ll have to rest on brief and disjointed phrasing— exploring the white noise, a bleeding worm, a room constructed entirely of words, and eyes watching you.

See?

What I will say is if you decide to give it a try, you shouldn’t suffer any bouts of boredom. I blinked twice the whole time. The continual ‘resets’ of the visuals keep you going, as do the questions. It’s wall-to-wall WTF. Maybe the bleeding worm is a metaphor for the state of the planet, or maybe I’m supposed to be the worm? Or the blood? Maybe it’s just a really long penis. Who knows. The 4th Wall isn’t forthcoming.

Nor is it scary, in the traditional sense. One or two ‘pop-up’ or ‘corner of the eye’ instances. Unnerving? You could definitely say that, mostly in the spatial relationships between you and the ‘screens’, how a much larger room can exist inside a smaller one. That part reminded me of House of Leaves, which (partially) explored the sudden occurrence of a constantly-expanding labyrinth in a family’s closet. That scared me, the idea of a place folding, shrinking, or twisting itself without pattern. Something like this would be worth a whole game on its own, were it properly managed and expanded upon.

Exactly how my parents taught me things.

As it is, I won’t downplay the strangeness of The 4th Wall, which warrants a look if you’re into oddities, but I can’t call it a ‘buy’ either. Your time with it will probably run under an hour, mostly out of confusion and wandering, and there’s no real payoff. The ‘ending’ makes about as much sense as the rest of it. It’s a art house game, easily gathering a crowd to stand and gawk, some tension achieved, but with only the minimum in satisfaction after the ‘show’ takes its bow.