Friday, December 2, 2016

#TeamHandheld Report - 12/02/2016

Despite being a little down and out right now, I couldn't help but put another #TeamHandheld Report out. I have four games to talk about today. Enjoy.

Now Playing

Demetrios - The BIG Cynical Adventure (Vita)

Demetrios - The BIG Cynical Adventure is a really interesting point-and-click adventure with an odd sense of humor. In fact, the game even gives you an option to turn the toilet humor on or off at the start of the game. I left it on, so I can't say what the game is like without it. With it on, there were some silly jokes, but nothing super offensive. The game itself follows the mishaps of a pathetic antiques dealer named Bjorn. Bjorn is lazy, sad, and just a total mess who wakes up in the middle of the night to find someone has broken into his apartment and stolen an antique tablet. He begins an adventure to find out who stole it and why.

The point-and-click parts of the game are pretty good. The balance of exploration and guessing works well enough that Demetrios remains challenging without being overwhelming. Each area you explore also has a trio of cookies hidden within the stage which are collectables for an achievement and can be eaten to give you a clue as to what to do next. The overall story is pretty silly, but it works for this type of game. It's also rather predictable, as I guessed who the main villain was in the first chapter, but it frames the experience well enough. The art style is like a comic book, and it is just as fitting. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience. It hits Vita in North America on December 6 and will be $9.99 with a 20% discount for PS+ subscribers.

-A quirky little point-and-click adventure-

Grand Kingdom (Vita)

I finally got around to Grand Kingdom and have been pleasantly surprised by it so far. The concept is fairly simple, though there are plenty of features for those who want to dive deeper into the game. For the most part, you simply recruit a group of four characters from various classes and tackle missions with them. You can hire and train up new recruits as you go along, as there are plenty of new classes that become accessible as the game progresses. As for combat, players venture around a game board map with each node possibly bringing about a fight, some treasure, or an obstacle to tackle into order to move past it.

The story might be forgettable, but the variety of gameplay options and the tactical battles are quite enjoyable. In combat, players take up arms against a group of foes and take turns finding the right position and deciding how best to confront the group. Charging in blindly is a good way to get defeated, but hanging back and planning the best way to handle the situation is key. Currently I'm rolling with a slow, defensive Paladin, a quick, powerful, yet fragile Rogue, a ranged Archer, and a brutal, but slow Dark Knight. I've tested quite a few jobs and each have their pros and cons, but the variety is there to fit any play style. It's a creative game, and I hope to finish the main story soon.

-Deep gameplay, but not much story-

Volgarr the Viking (Vita)

At the time of this writing, I've only had a little time to check out Volgarr the Viking. What I can say so far is that it it nails the "NES hard" vibe it set out to fulfill. The two man team at Crazy Viking Studios has done a great job with this one, though it's not going to be for everyone. It's a matter of remembering how best to work through each area and to get to the distant checkpoint in each stage. It's tough and makes no bones about it. If you like a challenge, Volgarr is the game for you. It runs great on Vita, but pulls no punches. Check it out if you dare.

-NES hard is still a thing-

Crimson Shroud (3DS)

I started Crimson Shroud back in 2012 and was enjoying it until I reached chapter 2 and needed a random drop key item that I spent around four hours trying to get. Frustrated, I set it aside for a while, but did attempt to go bank to retrieve the item to no avail. Finally just a week ago I tried again and got it on the first try. After that it was smooth sailing to the end. This board game themed RPG was a quick and easy play (outside of the key item drama), but worth a look if just for the dice-based combat system. The UI could be friendlier, but it works and is easy enough to not hinder anything too much. I'm glad I finally finished it.

-Four years later, it's done-


Slain: Back from Hell (Vita)

Still waiting on this one, since there was a bug in the Vita version that needed patching.

Steins;Gate 0 (Vita)

I'm still early on this one, but there's someone else that might have a surprise for us soon.

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