Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
How many of you are familiar with bullet hell shooters? Essentially, they're top-down shooters where the player is tasked with dodging (and sometimes surviving) gratuitous waves of projectiles. They're simple, fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping explosion-fests. They definitely aren't for everyone - those with a low tolerance for twitch game-play and frustration need not apply.
This week on Indie Game of the Week, we're going to be discussing a bullet hell game, a nifty little indie title known as Jamestown. Those of you who haven't heard of the game (though most of you likely have, it's been out for a while) probably first think of the British colony of the same name. Founded in the 17th century, Jamestown was the first permanent settlement in The New World, created some time after the failed Lost Colony of Roanoke. Believe it or not, all this information is relevant: Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony takes place in the 17th century, with the town of the same name as a centerpiece. Except that it takes place on Mars. With aliens and steam technology and Spanish war-machines.
Yeah...the game's a little over the top.
Players can choose from any of four different ships (without the Gunpowder Treason and Plot DLC, which brings that total to four): The Beam ship is your default, and can fire either a standard spread or a powerful beam; the Charge ship fires two columns of projectiles and can unleash a powerful charge shot; the Gunner is much like the Beam except that it can fire large crescent-shaped shots in any direction it chooses; and the bomber fires a line of bullets which can be detonated. Each ship has its strong and weak points, and there's not really any 'best:' it all depends on your play-style and what you're trying to accomplish.
You'll need to gain points in-game to purchase each of the ships aside from the Beam.
The atmosphere of Jamestown, while a little absurd, is fantastic: the graphics department rather outdid themselves here, as it's hard to resist the temptation to stop and admire the scenery (even though doing so will end in death at least 90% of the time). The combination of Mars' bizarre alien geography with a bunch of space-age steampunk tech actually works marvelously, and the music is definitely a treat to listen to, as well. The plot involves something about Sir Walter Raleigh. a fugitive from justice who has fled to Mars, and finds himself drawn (somewhat unwillingly) into the conflict between Jamestown and the Spanish.
Honestly, it's a top-down shooter. Story comes second to game-play here, and the game-play is magnificent. It's fast-paced, it's visceral, and it's challenging (particularly on higher difficulty levels). The most unique element of Jamestown is the Vaunt mechanic: killing foes causes bolts to appear on the map. Collect enough of these bolts, and you can enter into Vaunt mode: you're invincible and your shots receive a huge power boost for a short time.
All in all...if you're looking for a decent old-school styled bullet-hell experience? Jamestown's got your name written all over it.
Eight of The Most Memorable MMO Dungeons Ever Designed
Dungeons are a staple of the MMO genre; large-scale challenges requiring co-operation and co-ordination between anywhere from five to a few hundred players to adequately complete. Of course, not all are created equal, and some stand head and shoulders above their peers. Today, I'd like to tip my hat to those few legends, those instances that'll stick with us for years to come as shining examples of how to do dungeons right.
Ten Of The Best MMORPG Songs Ever Heard
In many ways, an MMO is only as good as its music. Many of the best and most memorable moments in an MMO invariably have a song associated with them; a piece of music which brings the memories flooding back the moment it reaches one's ears. Today, I'd like to pay homage to some of those songs - and some of those moments. Here, for your listening pleasure (and in no particular order, I assure you) is a list of some of the best songs ever heard in an MMO.
Facebook's Purchase Of Oculus VR Isn't The End Of The World
For those of you who've been living under a rock, Facebook recently purchased Oculus VR to the tune of $2 billion. Understandably, backers and developers alike were rather unimpressed, calling it a betrayal. As for me? I've never been more excited.
Seven Of The Worst Things You Can Say In League
If you've played league, you've probably encountered at least one toxic player. If you haven't, there's a good chance that YOU are the toxic one. Don't believe me? Ask yourself if you've ever said any of the following...
Six Reasons You Should Be Playing Dark Souls II
I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls II lately - and you should be too. Say what you will about the game's flaws, it's still arguably one of the best action RPGs released in the past several years. If you're up for a bit of a challenge, it's well worth the buy. Don't believe me? Let's talk, then.
Eight Reasons The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Awesome
As you're all no doubt aware, The Elder Scrolls Online - currently in open beta - will be launching in a few months or so. In light of both the new release date and all the hype surfacing around it, I've decided that, over the next two weeks, I'll be looking at all the reasons to look forward to it...and all the reasons we shouldn't.
League of Legends or DOTA 2?
The debate between Dota 2 and League of Legends has been raging almost since the two games were first released. But which game is REALLY the superior of the two?
Ten Fictional Settings That'd Make For Awesome MMOs
Let's look at a few settings, worlds, and stories I'd love to see made into MMOs. I'm sure you'll agree, all the entries on this list have the potential to be downright awesome.
MMO Year In Review: 5 of 2013's Biggest Dick Moves
People are dicks - particularly on the Internet. While that shouldn't come as any great surprise, occasionally we come across someone whose level of sheer dickery reaches legendary proportions. As we move into 2014, let's take a look at a few such individuals from the previous year.
Censorship Spells Trouble for League of Legends Patcher
Internet filtering has been a hot button issue for the past several years. With the slow gutting of protective measures like Net Neutrality, and with governmental powers seeking an end to online anonymity, it's rather harrowing to see the slow progression of political and social policing of the internet. Recently, after about a year of lobbying, the United Kingdom enacted a piece of legislation that many have come to call the "UK Porn Filter." What the filter requires is for British ISP's to implement filters and controls, which are on by default, that will block access to "violent material," not imited to "extremist and terrorist related content," "anorexia and eating disorder websites," and "suicide related websites."