<description/> <link>https://www.gameskinny.com/</link> <language>en</language> <copyright>Launch Media Network</copyright> <atom:link href="https://www.gameskinny.com/tag/image-form/?format=rss" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml"/> <item> <title>SteamWorld Dig 2 Review: Just Keep Digging https://www.gameskinny.com/t7jmi/steamworld-dig-2-review-just-keep-digging https://www.gameskinny.com/t7jmi/steamworld-dig-2-review-just-keep-digging Sat, 23 Sep 2017 17:03:28 -0400 Steven Oz

If you are familiar with the anime Gurren Lagann then you know this quote: “If you're gonna dig, dig to the heavens. No matter what's in my way, I won't stop! Once I've dug through - it means that I've won!

This inspiring call to courage tells you to forge ahead for unknown depths just like SteamWorld Dig 2. The direct sequel to Image & Form Games' SteamWorld Dig, Steamworld Dig 2 follows in its predecessor's footsteps to create a Metroidvania-style game with outstanding visuals and an intriguing world.

You Don't Have to Dig Far for the Story

SteamWorld Dig 2 begins a few years after the events of the first game when our new main protagonist, Dorothy, a steambot with a heart of gold, takes up the quest to uncover the meaning behind the strange earthquakes plaguing the old mining town of El Machino as well as search for Rusty, the protagonist of SteamWorld Dig who mysteriously vanished after the previous game's final boss fight.

While the story is on par with other games in the SteamWorld universe, there is not much to it. The main thing you need to know is that there are earthquakes in the area and that the search for Rusty is still ongoing by your character. Though the game features two main antagonists to combat, only one has even some depth to their character. The other, Ronald, who leads a doom worshiping cult, felt like a simple throwaway character. Players only face his forces a handful of times, which felt a bit sparse and unnecessary. The ending similarly felt lackluster. Again, this is typical for the SteamWorld universe, but lackluster is still lackluster.

The world that this story takes place in, however, is brimming with character. Reminiscent of old western-style lore, El Machino and its population of humans, cult members, and steambots embody the legends of cowboys and cowgirls. Even the environment itself feels like a character, with each new mine you explore possessing a unique feel. One might be dusty, while another is fairy-like. The Temple of the Guardian in particular features traps reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie. Enemies even behave differently in these different biomes, adding an additional layer of freshness to each area. 

Gameplay Is Dusty But Fresh.

An interesting take on the Metroidvania genre, SteamWorld Dig 2 takes that formula and flips it vertically. Simply put, you have to dig to get where you are going. Starting out with just a pickaxe, you dig your way through the ground to find gems needed to buy upgrades for your tools. Also within these deep mines are enhancement sites that grant you access to new tools, like the hookshot. 

The game manages to improve upon its predecessor to enhance the already-fun gameplay experience. In the previous game, for example, double-jumping and wall clinging were abilities that had to be bought and then upgraded. While the new game lacks a double-jump, players are now able to wall cling immediately, which is a great tool when trying to climb up long mine wells.

Likewise, you can now obtain a much-needed jetpack for those times where you end up in a deep open pit with no feasible way of escape. Even some simpler items like transport tubes, which act as a fast-travel system, make it much easier to frequently replenish you health and sell your wares. These simple additions help take out a lot of unnecessary hassle and allow players to spend more time just having fun.

What SteamWorld Dig 2 does retain, however, is the addicting resource gathering and exploration of the first game. Even as someone who does not 100% games, I could not put it down. The depth of the semi-open world is simply immense and I wanted to complete it all. The map is handcrafted to show off the depth of the game and enable full exploration, giving the player the option to systematically mine everything on the map. This makes the loop of digging, selling, and upgrading much more efficient. 

Digging further and further uncovers more secrets. Caves open up to different challenges that test your abilities, often with puzzles that require the use of one of your many tools. One such cave was a puzzle involving a finite number of mining carts. Completing these caves earn the player cogs, which are used for upgrading blueprints, and each cave also contains secret areas that hide artifacts which can be traded for more blueprints.

As you sell your various finds, you can use your hard-earned cash to buy upgrades to your core abilities. Each upgrade can be then be modified with the aforementioned blueprints. These blueprints can then be further enhanced with cogs for different purposes that fit your need. A fascinating part of this upgrade system is that cogs are not locked in, allowing you to mod and re-mod your abilities to better suit different activities. For instance, when facing the final boss, I changed my cogs to focus on health and attack to better tackle the challenge. By mixing and matching these enhancements, players are able to take better control of their own game experience.

All in all SteamWorld Dig 2 is a fantastic game that you don't want to miss. The story is sparse but fair for a world that seems to be alive. The gameplay improves on the last game to enhance players' experience, but still retains the addicting cycle of looting, selling, and upgrading. I hope Image & Form Games can keep on creating such fun games for years to come.

SteamWorld Dig 2 is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC and will be available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on September 26.

[Note: A copy of this game was provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.] 

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SteamWorld Heist Review (3DS) - A brave and ambitious indirect sequel to an outstanding game https://www.gameskinny.com/3ybys/steamworld-heist-review-3ds-a-brave-and-ambitious-indirect-sequel-to-an-outstanding-game https://www.gameskinny.com/3ybys/steamworld-heist-review-3ds-a-brave-and-ambitious-indirect-sequel-to-an-outstanding-game Mon, 18 Apr 2016 15:38:23 -0400 Damien Smith

SteamWorld Heist is a turn-based action strategy shooter developed and published by Image & Form. The game released exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS December 10th, 2015 with further releases scheduled for other platforms during 2016. It is an indirect sequel to the outstanding SteamWorld Dig

It is a far different game in every regard to the original but keeps true to the SteamWorld universe. It is a great game that keeps you hooked from the start to the end with lovable and hilarious characters, exciting and intense combat and a fantastic, well-written plot. 

A rag-tag crew of smugglers turned heroes

The plot to SteamWorld Heist takes place many years after the events of SteamWorld Dig. The planet that the Steambots once occupied no longer exists, and those remaining now live in the depths of space. With the destruction of Earth, various factions attempting to gain power within the galaxy begin to form.

Stuck in the middle of the struggling factions is a rag-tag crew of smugglers led by Captain Piper Faraday. Piper and her crew attempt a heist on a Scrapper ship that ends with only herself and her crewmate Seabrass surviving.

The Scrappers, a faction of Steambots, created from leftover scraps of metal have recently gained a considerable amount of strength and power. The crew heads out to one of the local bars to gain information and supplies, raiding a scrapper vessel along the way, for gallons.

Gallons (or water) is the currency of the Steambots due to it being a natural source of their power. Without it they cannot function, making it the most valuable resource within the galaxy. Upon approaching the bar, Piper receives a request to retrieve a shipment that is stolen by Scrappers.

From here the crew starts to learn just how much trouble the Scrappers are causing and set out to put a stop to them, recruiting new team members along the way. The team begins to question how the Scrappers gained so much power so quickly and who is responsible for it. 

The plot to SteamWorld Heist is an interesting one that is well-written and well-paced. What starts off as a simple goal of stopping a faction that is becoming a screw in everyone's side quickly turns into something far more dangerous and complicated.

It generates intrigue from the very beginning and keeps it throughout the entire game. As the player progresses, more questions arise. It keeps the player hooked from start to finish and has some nice surprises along the way.

A cast of entertaining and unique characters

The members of the rag-tag crew that Piper forms throughout the game each have their own unique and compelling personalities. Each character has a backstory which is revealed bit by bit as the game progresses, similar yet more basic to that of Mass Effect. They are all outrageous and silly in their ways, but it makes them fun characters.

Piper is the serious and charismatic leader of the group and always has an optimistic approach to things. Ivanski is a massive bodybuilding Steambot, who always wanted to become a ballerina dancer. Valentine is a retired chimney sweep who is bored with living in a retirement home. He seeks adventure within the depths of space.

He is also the awful comedian of the crew. His attempts at comedy always fall flat leading to eye rolling moments that you can't help but giggle at. The characters are all well-written and bring the world and story to life with their personalities. They are some of the most loveable characters in a video game.

Engaging and fun gameplay

Throughout the game, the player travels through three different chapters. Each chapter comes with its setting, atmosphere, items, and enemies. The player moves around the galaxy through a level select screen.

Upon completing a level, a new level is unlocked, and the player may replay a level at any time. Replaying a level allows the player to gain additional experience along with any swag (treasure) they may have missed on their first run. They may also attempt to get additional reputation points to unlock items in shops that they missed prior.

The level select screen is simple to use and offers all the details required for each level. It utilizes the dual screen of the Nintendo 3DS well. Along the way, players will also come across merchants they can visit and purchase items.

Items include weapons, additional storage space, equipable items for missions and hats for characters to wear. While not in the level select screen the player may wander the spaceship and interact with the other crewmates learning their backstories.

If the player docks at a shop or bar, they can leave their ship and explore the establishment and interact with the characters there.

The ability to leave the ship to explore various places adds to the feeling of a living, breathing universe. The bars the player goes to have even a band playing in the background based on the steampunk band Steam Powered Giraffe.

When selecting a level, the player gets to choose what crew members go on the mission and equip them for the mission. Each time a level is loaded it is procedurally generated making the levels slightly different each time you play.

During the mission, the player must defeat enemies and collect swag scattered throughout the level. Missions are turn-based with the player takeing a turn with all of their team before the enemy takes a turn. When shooting enemies, the player must aim the weapon at an enemy in a similar fashion to that of the Worms series.

Certain weapons have laser sights to make aiming and ricochet shots easier. Particular levels contain timers. When they countdown to zero, it increases the threat level. The higher the threat level, the more enemy reinforcements arrive every few turns.

There is also a countdown for turrets, which causes them to activate after a certain amount of turns. This can cause even more trouble for the player, but there are objects throughout the levels that can be used for cover.

Cover comes in two different forms, half cover, and full cover. Half cover gives a higher chance of an enemy hitting you while with full cover they can only hit you if they flank or trick shot you. The entire design of the levels and combat is well thought out.

The game shows inspiration from different games, including Worms and the modern XCOM games. Despite the heavy inspiration, the game does more than enough to not become a rip off of the games it draws inspiration from.

The manual aiming allows for a more engaging and fun combat system that a lot of turn-based games are lacking. It truly adds to the fun and the intensity of the gameplay. Overall there is nothing to complain about SteamWorld Heist's gameplay; it's practically flawless.

A simple character development system

The character development system of SteamWorld Heist is very simple, perhaps even too simple. When a character levels up, they gain a new ability. Abilities include additional health, increased movement, and skills for each character class.

Class-specific skills include invulnerability for one turn for Ivanski. Inspiration, which enhances the damage of all nearby crew, for Piper. Kill Shot, which allows Sally an extra shot after killing an enemy. That is but three examples of the many the game has.

Each character can level up to a maximum of 10 levels. This might not sound like a lot, but it does take some time to get there. The issue I have with it is that it feels like the developers could have done more with it. 

A level up system similar to that of the modern XCOM games would be more ideal. It would bring a new degree of strategy and tactics to the game which I believe would further increase the fun not to mention add to replayability.

Ya gotta do it with style

What is the point in embarking on a masterful heist if you are not looking the part? That is why the player can obtain a variety of hats. The hats come in all shapes, sizes, and are sophisticated or downright silly. The player can obtain various hats by either buying them from shops or shooting them off enemies heads and collecting them.

Different hats have a different rarities, making some of them quite hard to find. Due to procedural generation of levels, most of the hats that enemies wear are generated with the level. Some hats are unique to specific enemies like bosses.

The hats aren't a necessity in the game but are a nice bonus. It's quite a pleasant experience looking at an extensive collection of various hats. You would be surprised how long you can spend attempting to decide on what hat to give each of your teammates.

An experience worth its price

SteamWorld Heist is a wonderful experience that has something for everyone. It has fun and engaging gameplay, an excellent story, compelling and humorous characters, and it keeps you hooked from start to finish.

It is a game that caters to all skill levels of turn-based strategy games with a total of five different difficulty levels. The difficulties range from casual to downright hardcore for veterans of the genre. There are but two flaws which stop this game from getting a ten out of ten.

The first is the simplistic character development. The second would be that I find New Game Plus to be nothing worth investing time into unless you are looking to challenge yourself in a higher difficulty.

Overall, despite its two flaws it truly is an excellent game that is well worth the price that it asks. At $19.99 it may seem a bit pricey but the fun factor plus the amount of play time it offers makes it more than worth it.

SteamWorld Heist is available to buy on the Nintendo eShop for $19.99 through your 3DS device.

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SteamWorld Heist release date revealed https://www.gameskinny.com/u7l0y/steamworld-heist-release-date-revealed https://www.gameskinny.com/u7l0y/steamworld-heist-release-date-revealed Wed, 02 Dec 2015 03:47:15 -0500 tobes325

Mark your calendars, folks -- Image & Form has announced the release date for its 3DS title SteamWorld Heist. And it's sooner than you think!

SteamWorld Heist will be coming to Europe and America on December 10th -- that's next Thursday! Great news for fans of the first game, SteamWorld Dig. Image & Form is running a nice incentive for players who snatch up a copy of the game quickly too; normally priced at £14.99/$19.99/€19.99, you can get it for £11.99/$16.99/€16.99 until December 31st. 

"SteamWorld Dig costs $9.99. SteamWorld Heist is 10 times bigger and better than Dig. Ergo: you're getting 5 times the value."

SteamWorld Heist, a turn-based strategy game, is worlds away from its predecessor, SteamWorld DigSteamWorld Dig was somewhat of a mixed bag in terms of genre! It encompassed RPG elements and some strategy, but predominantly was a platforming adventure.

Something the two games share is the quirky art style and memorable characters. SteamWorld Heist will be released for 3DS as an eShop only purchase; when you buy the game you will also receive an exclusive home theme. Check out the gameplay trailer below!

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Sony Has Let Slip Next Month's PS Plus Lineup https://www.gameskinny.com/iokwd/sony-has-let-slip-next-months-ps-plus-lineup https://www.gameskinny.com/iokwd/sony-has-let-slip-next-months-ps-plus-lineup Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:44:28 -0400 Adam Koziol

Looks like someone working for Sony is going to be in trouble as a video detailing November's free PS Plus games has been released early. The publisher has since pulled the leaked trailer but we've got a copy which you can watch above. Every month, Sony offers PlayStation fans free games as a reward for their continued subscription to the company's premium online service. As usual, November's PS Plus line up consists of 6 games, two each for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

 The first game in the video is The Binding of Issac: Rebirth, a Zelda-inspired action game from the Super Meat Boy developers. The other free PS4 game is the 2D actions title SteamWorld Dig. Developed by Swedish indie studio Image & Form, the game stars a robot called Rusty who lives in the Wild West.

PS3 owners are getting the top-down shooter/strategy game Frozen Synapse Prime.  Set in a dystopian cyberpunk future, players assume the role of a tactical commander, leading a small group of rebel troops against a corporate government regime. For those players who want a more action based experience,  Sony has them covered with Luftrausers, a 2D arcade title about piloting a small plane against hundreds of enemies.

Finally there are the PS Vita games. The Hungry Horde tasks the player with controlling a group of zombies to infect as many people as possible, while Escape Plan is a monochrome puzzle game that heavily relies on the Vita's touchscreen.

All 6 games will be available on November 4. However, as the leaked video was specifically for North American PlayStation fans, we'll have to wait for the official announcement to see if the European line up is the same. Use the comment section below to let us know what you think of this selection.

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